Supergen Energy Networks Hub

ECR Committee Members

Sam Williamson
ECRC Sam Williamson

I am a Lecturer at the University of Bristol. My research investigates sustainable and appropriate energy access through the concepts of renewable energy microgrids and whole energy systems analysis, with the aims of supporting international climate targets and working towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. My research targets empowering and enabling communities large and small to be able to support themselves using tools, techniques and services locally available, especially in the international development context.

I supervise a team of 5 PhD students and work with several international collaborators from academia and community-based organisations to understand energy systems from an interdisciplinary viewpoint. Together, we work on a number of different projects in the energy system domain. We have been studying the control of power electronic interfaces for AC and DC microgrids to interface renewable sources, including developing mechanisms to enable intelligent, autonomous energy management systems and peer-to-peer electricity trading. We are conducting research into whole energy systems on small island states to understand how to decarbonise the energy chain. This includes surveying households, industries and institutions on their energy to understand the services they require, and the relationship to energy poverty, policy and governance. We are working to understand energy needs in humanitarian camps for displaced people, and investigating the use of electric cooking in off-grid communities from a socio-technical and cultural perspective. We are working to understand how to design systems to be appropriate, through the investigation of micro-hydropower in Nepal, understanding technical, social and economic causes of failure and what design features enable successful projects.