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Green Power Partnership

History of Voluntary Markets

The following timeline provides an overview of different milestones that contributed to the emergence of the U.S. voluntary green power market.

  • 1978 - Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act opens wholesale power markets to non-utility power producers
  • 1978 - Advent of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for alternative energy sources
  • 1983 – First state renewable energy requirement adopted—Iowa
  • 1992 - Advent of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind
  • 1995 - First mention of concept of certificate trading—California1
  • 1996 - First competitive retail green power pilot program—New Hampshire2
  • 1997 – Some European countries introduce tradable attribute certificates1
  • 1997 - Origin of environmental disclosure electricity labels—New England1
  • 1997 – Introduction of environmental certification standards for voluntary renewable energy products—Green-e launched
  • 1998 - Electricity markets in CA, MA, and RI open to retail choice1
  • 1998 - First wholesale green power market opens in CA – Automated Power Exchange (APX)1
  • 1998 - First unbundled retail REC product sold—AllEnergy Marketing Company (MA)
  • 1999 - First Renewable Portfolio Standard with REC trading for compliance—Texas1
  • 2000 - EPA buys green power1
  • 2001 – EPA launches Green Power Partnership
  • 2001 – EPA initiates first annual Green Power Leadership Awards
  • 2001 – First REC tracking system established--TX
  • 2002 - Third-party certification and verification standard introduced for tradable certificates in U.S.1
  • 2004 - First recognized EPA Green Power Community – Moab, UT
  • 2004 – EPA launches first Top 25 Partners list – Air Force largest user in U.S.
  • 2005 – NREL report indicates that organizations, not residences, are pacing the growth of U.S. green power markets
  • 2006 - Advent of the Solar Power Purchase Agreement – SunEdison/Renewable Ventures
  • 2007 - First community solar offering – SMUD, CA
  • 2008 – RGGI states adopt first allowance set-aside for voluntary renewable energy purchases under cap and trade program
  • 2010 – Compliance markets surpass voluntary markets in terms of total kilowatt-hours from new renewables
  • 2012 – Federal Trade Commission updates Green Marketing Guidelines with clarifications for making renewable energy claims
  • 2014 – Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers Principles announced
  • 2015 - GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance finalized for reporting emissions relating to renewable energy purchases
  • 2015 – Executive Order 13693 calls for 25% renewable energy use in federal agency buildings by 2025, and GHG emission reductions

Sources:

  1. http://apps3.eere.energy.gov/greenpower/resources/pdfs/37388.pdf (PDF) (76 pp, 2MB)
  2. http://www.nrel.gov/docs/legosti/old/23446.pdf (PDF) (27 pp, 1 MB)