What is a REC (renewable energy credit)?

The issue:

The Clean Air Rule has complex components within the rule. At a recent webinar about the rule, people asked several questions. We’re posting the answers to these questions on EcoForum and encourage comments to clarify further.


A renewable energy credit (REC) is a tracking mechanism for renewable energy projects like wind or solar power), where each credit represents one unit of renewable energy that is produced by a given renewable energy project.

Washington’s renewable energy standard law uses RECs as a compliance tool, as well as other types of renewable energy programs. The CAR provides a framework for how RECs can be used to generate emission reductions that covered parties can count toward compliance, as well as a specific definition for RECs in the proposed WAC 173-442-020 (q).