Carnegie Mellon University

Nathan Williams

Nathan Williams

Special Faculty

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Nathan Williams is Special Faculty in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. His research focuses on African energy systems with a particular interest in the use of renewable and decentralized energy technologies to expand access to electricity. He is also a visiting instructor at the CMU Africa campus in Rwanda where he teaches courses on energy systems and a Research Fellow at the Kigali Collaborative Research Center.

He completed his Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy at CMU focusing on barriers to electrification in East Africa via privately operated microgrid utilities. His interest in energy poverty in developing countries was sparked while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in a remote unelectrified village in the West African nation of Burkina Faso. Following his time in the Peace Corps, Nathan joined the Centre for Energy Research at the Nelson Mandela University in South Africa, where in earned a M.Sc. focusing on the application of solar photovoltaic technologies to rural electrification. Prior to coming to CMU, Nathan spent three years developing utility scale renewable energy IPPs in sub-Saharan Africa.


PhD Engineering & Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, 2017

MSc Physics, Nelson Mandela University, 2011

BS Physics & Mathematics, Whitworth University, 2006

Selected Publications

  • M Craig, P Jaramillo, B Mathias-Hodge, NJ Williams, E Severnini, A Retrospective Analysis of the Market Price Response to Distributed Photovoltaic Generation in California, Energy Policy, Vol. 121, 394-403, October 2018
  • B Sergi, M Babcock, NJ Williams, J Thornburg, A Loew and RE Ciez, Institutional influence on power sector investments: a case study of on- and off-grid energy in Kenya and Tanzania, Energy Research & Social Science, Vol. 41, 59-70, July 2018
  • NJ Williams, P Jaramillo, K Campbell, B Musanga and I Lyons-Galante, Electricity consumption and load profile segmentation analysis for rural microgrid customers in Tanzania, IEEE PES Power Africa Conference, Cape Town, South Africa, 360-365, June 2018
  • NJ Williams, P Jaramillo and J Taneja, Investment Risk Assessment of Microgrid Utilities for Rural Electrification Using the Stochastic Techno-Economic Microgrid Model: A Case Study in Rwanda, Energy for Sustainable Development, Vol. 42, 87-96, February 2018
  • NJ Williams, P Jaramillo and J Taneja, PV-array Sizing in Hybrid Diesel/PV/Battery Microgrids under Uncertainty, IEEE PES Power Africa Conference, Livingstone, Zambia, 87-96, June 2016
  • NJ Williams, P Jaramillo, J Taneja and TS Ustun, Enabling private sector investment in microgrid-based rural electrification in developing countries: A review, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol. 53, 1268-1281, August 2015

Full list of publications available at Google Scholar.