Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



National Renewable Energy Laboratory

First page number:

i-viii, 1

Last page number:



This report documents green power marketing activities and trends in the United States. Aggregate green power sales data for all voluntary purchase markets across the United States are presented for 2009. The data presented in this report are based primarily on figures provided to NREL by utilities and independent renewable energy marketers. Because data cannot be obtained from all market participants, the estimates presented here likely represent an underestimate of the market size. Key trends identified in this year’s report include:
• In 2009, total retail sales of renewable energy in voluntary markets exceeded 30 million MWh, an increase of 17% from 2008. The increase was dominated by renewable energy certificate (REC) sales, primarily to nonresidential consumers, which increased by about 20% from 2008 (see Figure ES-1). REC markets now represent 62% of total voluntary green power market sales.
• Utility green pricing programs in regulated electricity markets continued to grow on a sales basis but at a slower rate than in previous years, with sales volume increasing by about 7% in 2009. A relatively small number of utility programs continued to dominate sales and customer numbers. Utility premiums for green pricing continued to fall due in part to the increased cost competitiveness of renewable with conventional generation.
• Wind energy provided 73.7% of total green power sales volume, followed by biomass energy sources including landfill gas (10.0%), hydropower (9.9%), geothermal (0.2%), and solar (0.1%), with the remainder unknown (5.9%).
• Overall, the total number of customers purchasing green power increased by 44% in 2009, which is a higher rate than in previous years and with gains coming primarily from a competitive offering in Texas introduced in 2009. Utility green pricing program participants remained essentially flat in aggregate from 2007 to 2009, with some programs continuing to report customer losses in 2009.
• In 2009, nearly 340,000 metric tons of avoided CO2e from renewable energy facilities were marketed as offsets, an increase of approximately 39% from 2008. This is the equivalent of about 485,000 MWh of renewable energy generation.


Clean energy industries; Consumption (Economics); Consumption (Economics) – Forecasting; Energy industries; Green power; Marketing trends; Power resources—Costs; REC; Renewable energy; Renewable energy certificates; Renewable energy sources – Supply and demand; Sales; Utility green pricing programs; Voluntary markets


Economics | Marketing | Oil, Gas, and Energy | Power and Energy