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Neville Williams

Mr. Williams is a journalist, author, lifelong adventurer, world traveler and mountaineer. He is a solar energy pioneer who has promoted solar power applications around the world since 1988.

He founded a non-profit organization specializing in solar for the developing world, and launched various companies in five countries to sell and install solar-electric systems.

Mr. Williams first became involved with solar energy during the Carter Administration as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Energy. In 2001, his company SELCO received the Award for Corporate Excellence from the U.S. Department of State; in 2005, President Clinton invited Williams to become a  member of the Clinton Global Initiative.


Recently, Mr. Williams co-developed solar power projects to serve rural electric cooperatives in New Mexico.

Neville Williams at DOE rooftop solar

Mr. Williams is the founder and former chairman of  Standard Solar Inc., one of America's leading solar energy services companies. Based in Maryland since 2005, the company sells and installs commercial, institutional and utility-scale solar-electric systems throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

Standard Solar: Tony Clifford, Neville Williams, Scott Wiater

Tony Clifford (CEO), Neville Williams (Chairman), Scott Wiater (President)

Neville Williams in Nepal

In 1990, he founded  the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) a non-profit organization based in Washington DC. SELF has assisted governments and community organizations to develop solar rural electrification projects in India, China, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Brazil, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Indonesia, and the Solomon Islands, and today works in Haiti, West Africa, and Columbia.

In 1996, Williams founded the Solar Electric Light Company (SELCO) in Washington, and with co-founder Dr. Harish Handy, launched SELCO-India in Bangalore. SELCO-India, the first commercial venture of its kind in India, today has installed over a half million solar home lighting systems.



Chasing the Sun book cover

CHASING THE SUN: Solar Adventures Around the World (New Society, 2005), is the story of bringing photovoltaic power to thousands of rural families without access to electricity. 


Sun Power book cover

 SUN POWER: How Energy from the Sun is Changing Lives Around the World, Empowering America and Saving the Planet is about how America's green energy revolution will increase peace and prosperity, by harnessing the unlimited solar power.


Trans Africa 1962 book cover

After re-discovering his 50-year-old diaries chronicling a motorcycle journey from Cairo to Cape Town, Mr. Williams  wrote TRANS AFRICA ’62 in 2017, published as a Kindle original.


An Ohio native, Mr. Williams studied at the Universities of Colorado and Neuchatel, Switzerland.  He was an accredited freelance correspondent in Vietnam (1968-69) and is the author of a book on the Vietnam War (THE NEW EXILES, Liveright, NY, 1972; reissued by Endeavour Press, London, 2017).


He has written numerous articles for Nature, Outside, The New Republic, The Nation, the New York Times Magazine, New Times, Solar Today, and other publications. In 1973-74 he worked as a writer/producer for WNBC-TV News in New York.  In 1987, he joined Greenpeace USA as its national media & communications director where he became interested in renewable energy and solutions to global warming.


Williams has been a consultant/advisor to the United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank for which he designed the national solar electrification programs for Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka respectively. He has addressed numerous professional meetings, conferences and business-school seminars worldwide.


Now retired, he has lived in Naples, Florida, with his wife Patricia Forkan, since 2010. 

Nevillw Williams at Yellowstone


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