Neville Williams is the founder and chairman-emeritus of Standard Solar Inc., a solar energy services company based in Maryland that sells and installs grid-tied residential solarelectric systems in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Williams launched Standard Solar in 2005, drawing on 30 years of executive management, communications, and marketing experience. Mr. Williams first became involved with solar energy during the Carter Administration as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Energy. He is the author of CHASING THE SUN: Solar Adventures Around The World [New Society Publishers, 2005), an account of bringing solar power to people without electricity in 11 countries in Asia and Africa.

In 1990, Williams launched a non-profit organization to bring solar power to unelectrified people in the developing world. The Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) has assisted national governments and community organizations to implement “solar seed” projects in India, China, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Brazil, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Indonesia, and the Solomon Islands.

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“True, they don’t have any electricity,” John Corsi, CEO of Solarex Corporation, told me in 1990, “but they also don’t have any money.” The chief of America’s then-largest solar company, later absorbed into BP Solar, expressed doubts about my idea of starting a non-profit organization to bring solar …

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