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Title: Renewable Electricity: How Do You Know You Have It?; NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

When electricity is generated - either from a renewable or non-renewable power plant - the electrons added to the grid are indistinguishable. So, on what basis can a consumer of electricity claim to be using renewables? In the United States, renewable energy certificates (RECs) were developed as states passed renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) and were requiring fuel mix disclosure labels. RECs are also used in the voluntary market, where customers are buying renewables to meet sustainability goals. The concept of RECs is used most widely in the United States, but international markets also have tradable renewable electricity certificates. This fact sheet reviews how to ensure that RECs are not double-counted, roles of electricity regulators, renewable generators and purchasers. It concludes with a discussion of the international use of RECs.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Research Org:
NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
NREL Strategic Energy Analysis Center Business Development
Country of Publication:
United States
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY Renewable energy certificate; REC; Renewable portfolio standard; Voluntary green power; Environmental attribute; Tracking system