Impressive growth in the I-REC market – global Renewable Energy Certificates

The International REC (I-REC) Standard started off in 2014 to document and report that the energy you consume outside Europe and North America comes from renewable energy sources. The ambition was to bring renewable electricity tracking to parts of the world that did not yet have a national or regional solution in place. The first full year of operation started with three countries – Turkey, Taiwan and China – with just a few registered power plants. Since then, the development of I-REC around the world has been an impressive success. The I-REC Standard has become an essential instrument for reporting electricity consumption by corporates, institutions and individuals.



There has not been a single year where any parameters of the standard did not grow with a three digit percentage – regardless if we look at the number of approved power plants, the number of participants, the issued volumes or the redeemed volumes. The number of issued and redeemed I-RECs increased steadily, leaving the market almost close to being balanced on a global aggregated scale.* However, it is fair to mention that we still experience substantial regional differences.

I-REC countries account for more than 50% of global electricity consumption

Today 34 countries are approved for I-REC. All these countries combined account for more than 51% of the global electricity consumption. If all existing national or regional Energy Attribute Certificate (EAC) systems are added, 90% of the global electricity consumption is covered by a renewable electricity tracking system.

Russia has opened up for I-REC

After nine countries were approved by the I-REC Standard in 2019, two more countries have been added in 2020; El Salvador and the Dominican Republic.

We see a continuation in the growth of authorized local issuers. A development that is further strengthening the reliability and robustness of the Standard by ensuring local support. As of today, there are more than 10 local issuers. Most recently added authorized for the issuance of I-RECs are Thailand with Electricity Generating Authority (EGAT) and Russia with Goal Number Seven (GNS). Russia has been approved by the I-REC Standard, and as of May 2020 a number of renewable energy power plants are in the process of being registered.

Dark blue countries are approved I-REC countries and light blue countries have grid connection.

Make impact with I-RECs

You can contribute to several of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by adding EKOenergy or W+ to your I-REC purchase. In that way you can make local impact in the regions your company has operations or suppliers and have a good story to communicate internally and externally.

EKOenergy contributes to finance new renewable energy projects in developing countries. A portfolio of renewable projects are available in different parts of the world, such as solar panels on school roofs and solar power to neighborhoods without electricity.

W+ contributes to empower women in developing countries. By increasing girls and women’s education and access to resources you improve livelihoods of communities, thus scaling up solutions to climate change, food security and poverty. W+ measures the impact on women’s lives.

ECOHZ maintains a global portfolio of I-REC power plants, with the ambition of providing multinational companies with a wide selection of options covering most regions in the world. With I-RECs we fulfil our vision of ‘Changing Energy Behaviour’ by helping companies find tangible ways to deliver on their renewable energy promises. The goal of consuming only renewable energy – a goal for many RE100 companies –  is an ambitious one and I-RECs are part of the solution.




*The graph shows the total number of I-RECs issued for each individual month in comparison to the total number of I-RECs redeemed 6 month later. The six month lag for the redemption represents the average time required for the administration to transfer, client communication and redemption.