Professor Jim Williams is a global thought leader in the area of low-carbon energy systems. At USF his focus is on developing a new generation of energy professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to have rewarding careers in sustainably meeting society’s energy needs.

Prof. Williams was formerly chief scientist at Energy and Environmental Economics (E3), where he consulted on many aspects of energy technology, planning, and regulation for government, utility, and industry clients. His experience ranges from renewable integration to electric vehicles, retail rate-making to wholesale markets, environmental siting to the water-energy nexus.

Prof. Williams led E3’s analysis of greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies for California’s government agencies, which helped to shape the state’s climate and energy policies. He directs the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP), a consortium of research teams from the 16 highest-emitting countries, whose long-term blueprints for a low-carbon transition influenced the Paris Agreement.

Prof. Williams formerly taught at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, where his research interests included the technical and institutional challenges of decarbonizing China’s power sector.

PhD, Energy and Resources, University of California, Berkeley
MS, Energy and Resources, University of California, Berkeley
BS, Physics, Washington & Lee University
Chief Scientist, Energy and Environmental Economics (E3)
Associate Professor, Monterey Institute of International Studies
Energy technology, planning, and regulation
Low carbon energy systems
Climate change science and policy
Selected Publications

Iyer, G., Ledna, C., Clarke, L., Edmonds, J., McJeon, H., Kyle, P., & Williams, J.H. (2017). Measuring progress from nationally determined contributions to mid-century strategiesNature Climate Change.

Sachs, J.D., Schmidt-Traub, G., & Williams, J. (2016). Pathways to zero emissionsNature Geoscience, 9, 799-801. 

Yeh, S., Yang, C., Gibbs, M., Roland-Holst, D., Greenblatt, J., Mahone, A., Wei, D., Brinkman, G., Cunningham, J., Eggert, A., Haley, B., Hart, E., & Williams, J. (2016). A modeling comparison of deep greenhouse gas emissions reduction scenarios by 2030 in CaliforniaEnergy Strategy Reviews, 13, 169-180. 

Bataille, C., Waisman, H., Colombier, M., Segafredo, L., Williams, J., & Jotzo, F. (2016). The need for national deep decarbonization pathways for effective climate policyClimate Policy, 16, S7-S26. 

Wu., G.C., Torn, M.S., & Williams, J.H. (2015). Incorporating Land-Use Requirements and Environmental Constraints in Low-Carbon Electricity Planning for CaliforniaEnvironmental Science & Technology, 49(4), 2013-2021. 

Morrison, G.M., Yeh, S., Eggert, A.R., Yang, C., Nelson, J.H., Greenblatt, J.B., Isaac, R., Jacobson, M.Z., Johnston, J., Kammen, D.M., Mileva, A., Moore, J., Roland-Holst, D., Wei, M., Weyant, J.P., Williams, J.H., Williams, R., & Zapata, C.B. (2015). Comparison of low-carbon pathways for CaliforniaClimactic Change, 131(4), 545-557.

Williams, J.H., Haley, B., Kahrl, F., Moore, J., Jones, A.D., Torn, M.S., & McJeon, H. (2014). Pathways to deep decarbonization in the United StatesThe U.S. report of the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations.

McKenzie, L., Orans, R., Williams, J.H., & Mahone, A. (2014). Strengthening the Clean Power Plan: Three Key Opportunities for the EPAThe Electricity Journal, 27(10), 80-92. 

Cutter, E., Haley, B., Williams, J., & Woo, C.K. (2014). Cost-Effective Water-Energy Nexus: A California Case StudyThe Electricity Journal, 27(6), 61-68.

Cutter, E., Haley, B., Hargreaves, J., & Williams, J. (2014). Utility scale energy storage and the need for flexible capacity metricsApplied Energy, 124, 274-282.

Hu, J., Kwok, G., Xuan, W., Williams, J.H., & Kahrl, F. (2013). Using natural gas generation to improve power system efficiency in ChinaEnergy Policy, 60, 116-121.

Williams, J.H., DeBenedictis, A., Ghanadan, R., Mahone, A., Moore, J., Morrow III, W.R., Price, S., & Torn, M.S. (2012). The Technology Path to Deep Greenhouse Gas Emissions Cuts by 2050: The Pivotal Role of ElectricityScience, 335(6064), 53-59.

Kahrl, F., Williams, J., Jianhua, D., & Junfeng, H. (2011). Challenges to China's transition to a low carbon electricity system. Energy Policy, 39(7), 4032-4041.