Caitlin Marquis and Danny Waggoner

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Adding it All Up for Voluntary Buyers of Renewable Energy

Posted by Caitlin Marquis and Danny Waggoner on Jan 28, 2021 1:37:35 PM

Adding it All Up for Voluntary Buyers of Renewable Energy

The substantial growth in renewable energy in the U.S. comes from two sources: purchases made by utilities and retail suppliers to comply with mandatory targets such as state Renewable Portfolio Standards (compliance purchases), and purchases from customers that go beyond these targets (voluntary purchases), usually in pursuit of sustainability goals. These two types of purchases in combination drive renewable energy development in the U.S., but how they interact gets tricky, especially as states ramp up their clean energy targets to 100%. How do voluntary purchasers get what they pay for – and states reach their ambitious targets – in a way that’s fair for both? It’s all about “additionality,” and to date, states have taken different approaches.

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