Wind turbines (© AP Images)
Google's Oklahoma wind farm is part of the tech giant's renewable energy portfolio. (© AP Images)

Every 60 seconds, people around the globe upload 400 hours of video onto Google’s video streaming site YouTube. For Google, that means a lot of processing — and electricity — to make sure people get their cat videos.

By 2017, Google expects to power its massive data centers and offices with 100 percent renewable energy, everywhere in the world.

“Our ultimate goal is to create a world where everyone — not just Google — has access to clean energy,” said Google Senior Vice President Urs Hölzle.

Tech giant Apple is getting close to all-renewable operations. The iPhone maker says it has secured enough renewable energy to power about 93 percent of its worldwide business. The company also is working to supply its manufacturers, many in China, with wind and solar power.

Along with Apple, Facebook, Intel and other tech giants, Google announced an accelerated transition to renewable energy as part of the American Business Act on Climate Pledge in 2015.

Nearly 20 other technology companies also have pledged to secure enough renewable energy to power their worldwide operations, said Gary Cook, senior energy campaigner for the environmental group Greenpeace.

Google says its 20 renewable energy projects help support communities worldwide, from Grady County, Oklahoma, to Rutherford County, North Carolina, to the Atacama Region of Chile to municipalities in Sweden.

“We began purchasing renewable energy to reduce our carbon footprint and address climate change — but it also makes business sense,” Google’s Hölzle said. Falling costs and stable prices make renewables smart choices, he said.

Google and Apple also sell some of their surplus renewable energy directly into the electricity market.

“More than ever, companies must show this sort of leadership on renewable energy,” said Cook of Greenpeace.

This article draws on a report from the Associated Press.