Status and Trends in the U.S. Voluntary Green Power Market

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Voluntary market share of U.S. non-hydropower renewable generation
Voluntary market share of U.S. non-hydropower renewable generation; Courtesy of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), from its Voluntary Green Power Procurement page.

This report documents the status and trends of the market for renewable energy procured voluntarily through seven mechanisms: utility green pricing, utility renewable contracts, unbundled renewable energy certificates (RECs), competitive suppliers, community choice aggregations (CCAs), power purchase agreements (PPAs), and community solar.

The most recent update, Status and Trends in the U.S. Voluntary Green Power Market (2016 Data), released in 2017, finds that about 6.3 million customers procured about 95 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of green power in 2016, which represents a 45% increase in the number of customers and a 19% increase in the amount sales from 2015. The voluntary green power market now accounts for about 28% of all U.S. renewable energy sales, excluding large hydropower.

This market expansion is primarily attributable to increasing green power sales in unbundled RECs, CCAs, and PPAs. Sales and participation increased across all green power mechanisms from 2015 to 2016. Unbundled RECs account for more than half of the green power market in terms of sales. CCAs now account for more than half of green power customers. 

For the first time in this annual series, this report includes a state-level analysis of the geography of voluntary green power sales and customers. Green power demand is higher in states such as Illinois, California, Texas, and Massachusetts, where local green power options are available, but demand exists in every state in both urban and rural areas.

Reports from All Years:

Related Resources: Visit NREL's Voluntary Green Power Procurement page.