Green Power Purchasing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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Doesn’t the exclusion of legacy RE and hydropower generation from the voluntary REC market address GHG accounting problems?

Short answer

Simply put, no. This exclusion does not address the fact that the voluntary market for RECs has no significant influence on renewable energy investment or generation.

Long explanation

The exclusion of legacy renewable and hydro facilities from the REC market implies that the certifications are intended to support claims that these certificates cause more RE investment and generation because they are restricted to more recently built generation in order to reduce the supply and create a scarcity. However, we know that the voluntary REC (and GO) markets do not and are highly unlikely to influence (i.e., cause) more renewable energy investment or generation (see If more companies purchase RECs and GOs, then won’t this increased demand eventually cause more renewable energy investment and generation?).