Helene Ahlborg

Forskare at Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Helene Ahlborg’s research is about rural electrification in East Africa and societal transformation. She studies the co-development of technology and society and how provision of electricity services, based on small-scale renewable energy resources, impacts on people’s lives and transforms rural communities. But also, how the local context and especially social, economic and power relations between poor and rich, women and men, young and old, village and town, etc. influence the electrification process and impact on the long-term viability of the energy system. Her thesis has the title: "Walking along the lines of power” and presents a theoretical and empirical synthesis of her work over the past five years.So far, most of her empirical work has been carried out in Tanzania in case studies of small-scale electric production systems. Her background is in social environmental science. Theoretically her work builds on and contributes to debates in the fields of energy and development, rural development, innovation studies, science and technology, socionatures, feminist theory and power theory.Her current work is focused on local and global energy transitions towards more diverse and decentralized energy systems. Two themes are at the core of this work: power, politics and governance, and the energy system’s embedding in rural societies. Helene is currently a guest researcher at Sussex University and the Science and Policy Research Unit (SPRU), Brighton, UK. There she works with prof. Andy Stirling, Dr. David Ockwell and Dr. Rob Byrne.At Chalmers, Helene is funded by the Area of Advance Energy and promotes interdisciplinary work with the global Sustainable Development Goals with a focus on the global South. She is part of the interdisciplinary research group STEEP-RES (Socio-Technical-Ecological Evaluations of Potential Renewable Energy Systems) and she has close collaborations with Prof. Sverker Jagers and Dr. Frida Boräng, at Political Science, Göteborg University and Prof. Andrea Nightingale, Department of Urban and Rural Development, SLU, Uppsala (formerly Prof at School of Global Studies, Göteborg University).She recently spent five months as guest researcher in Mexico, at UNAM, Morelia campus, working with Prof. Omar Masera.The STEEP-RES group also collaborates with Wineaster Anderson, Business School, University of Dar es Salaam, and Prof. Cuthbert Kimambo, College of Engineering and Technology, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Helene teaches on a variety of development, energy and environment-related topics also outside of academia e.g. in the context of UNIDO-organized trainings.

Source: chalmers.se

Projects

2012–2014

Good governing of rural electrification processes in Eastern Africa – The importance of formal and informal institutions

Sverker Molander Environmental Systems Analysis
Helene Ahlborg Environmental Systems Analysis
SIDA

2012–2015

Providing Renewable Energy Technologies to Productive Use for Rural Electrification (STEEP-RES II)

Sverker Molander Environmental Systems Analysis
Helene Ahlborg Environmental Systems Analysis
Linus Hammar Environmental Systems Analysis
Jimmy Ehnberg Electric Power Engineering
Erik Ahlgren Energy Technology
Joseph Maskaraa Ngowi Energy Technology
Formas

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Publications

2017

Institution building in challenging contexts – energy for development in Tanzania

Frida Boräng, Helene Ahlborg
QoG Working Paper Series 2017. Vol. 3
Magazine article
2017

Ecology and sociotechnical systems research – motivations for theoretical and methodological integration across fields

Helene Ahlborg, Ilse Ruiz-Mercado, Sverker Molander et al
Conference contribution
2017

Towards a conceptualization of power in energy transitions

Helene Ahlborg
Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions. Vol. in press
Journal article
2016

Powering institutions – credibility, enforcement and legitimacy

Frida Boräng, Helene Ahlborg
Conference contribution
2016

Flexible distribution design in microgrids for dynamic power demand in low-income communities

Jimmy Ehnberg, Helene Ahlborg, Elias Hartvigsson
IEEE PES PowerAfrica Conference, Livingstone, ZAMBIA, JUN 28-JUL 03, 2016, p. 179-183
Paper in proceedings
2015

Provision of electricity to African households: The importance of democracy and institutional quality

Helene Ahlborg, Frida Boräng, Sverker C. Jagers et al
Energy Policy. Vol. 87, p. 125-135
Journal article
2015

Small-scale hydropower in Africa: Socio-technical designs for renewable energy in Tanzanian villages

Helene Ahlborg, Martin Sjöstedt
Energy Research and Social Science. Vol. 5, p. 20-33
Journal article
2015

Small-scale hydropower in Africa: Socio-technical designs for renewable energy in Tanzanian villages

Helene Ahlborg, Martin Sjöstedt
Energy Research and Social Science. Vol. 5, p. 20-33
Journal article
2014

Drivers and barriers to rural electrification in Tanzania and Mozambique - grid-extension, off-grid, and renewable energy technologies

Helene Ahlborg, Linus Hammar
Renewable Energy. Vol. 61, p. 117-124
Journal article
2014

Drivers and barriers to rural electrification in Tanzania and Mozambique - grid-extension, off-grid, and renewable energy technologies

Helene Ahlborg, Linus Hammar
Renewable Energy. Vol. 61, p. 117-124
Journal article
2012

Mismatch Between Scales of Knowledge in Nepalese Forestry: Epistemology, Power, and Policy Implications

Helene Ahlborg, Andrea J. Nightingale
Ecology and Society. Vol. 17 (4)
Journal article
2011

Drivers and barriers to rural electrification in Tanzania and Mozambique – grid extension, off-grid and renewable energy sources

Helene Ahlborg, Linus Hammar
World Renewable Energy Congress 2011 – Sweden, 8-11 May 2011, Linköping, Sweden. Vol. 10 (57), p. 2493-2500
Paper in proceedings
2010

Förnybara energikällors inverkan på de svenska miljömålen

Sverker Molander, Helene Ahlborg, Rickard Arvidsson et al
Report
2009

Jämställdhet ger bättre klimat – genusperspektiv nödvändigt för att lösa klimatfrågan

Helene Ahlborg
Internationella Studier. Tema: nationalism och identitet. Utrikespolitiska Institutet (Nummer 4 2009)
Magazine article