Mary Werner Headshot

"By 2035, if we also plan on electrification which would then increase the amount of electricity needed, we would have to get to 12.5X."

Mary Werner, Solar Program Manager, NREL

Solar power generation deployments are accelerating worldwide - and the grid must evolve to accommodate it. That’s the topic of this episode of Grid Talk. Host Marty Rosenberg talks with Mary Werner who is the Solar Program Manager at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado. 

“We did a Solar Futures Study in 2020 and in that report, we said that if you want to go to a decarbonized electric grid by 2035, we have to ramp up from our 2020 level by 9½ times and that’s just in the United States,” said Werner.

Werner explained the world is on pace to erect $1 billion a day in solar assets.

“By 2035, if we also plan on electrification which would then increase the amount of electricity needed, we would have to get to 12½ times.” 

Production is gearing up in tandem with the escalating need for solar. 

“In a report last week that I saw, our quarterly Market Industry Report, says that there have been 240 gigawatts of solar manufacturing announced since the Inflation Reduction Act passed in August 2022,” Werner said. “That is the kind of ramp up is what we need.”

Mary Werner joined NREL in 1995 as an engineer in the Federal Energy Management Program and eventually became the program manager. She has also managed programs for NREL's Building Technologies Program, Integrated Deployment, the Deployment and Market Transformation organization. In 2015, Werner became the program manager for the Solar Program, the flagship program at the lab.

Ms. Werner has an Executive MBA from the University of Colorado, Denver and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from California State University, Sacramento.