Jorge Izar-Tenorio, Carnegie Mellon University | The Double Dividend of Irrigation and Electricity in East Africa
About the talk: Agriculture contributes up to 50% of the Gross Domestic Product in some East African countries and is the backbone of the region's economy. Most farmers rely on traditional, small-scale subsistence farming with low fertilizer use and low-yield seeds. At the same time, less than 3% of the total cultivated area employs any form of irrigation, mostly non-pressurized. As of 2019, only 43% of the region's population had electricity, with an average annual electricity consumption per capita of 483 kWh. The limited access to modern technologies challenges the region's ability to capitalize on good investment opportunities in agriculture and electricity infrastructure. This talk will shed light on small-scale pressurized irrigation systems' productive and economic viability and the effects of incorporating productive uses of electricity (PUE) from agriculture on least-cost electrification planning in East Africa.
About the speaker: Jorge Izar-Tenorio is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Carnegie Mellon University. His research focuses on understanding the dynamics of interdependent water-energy-food (WEF) systems under a changing climate and their implications on social, economic, and environmental outcomes, primarily in the Global South. One of his current projects aims to evaluate the impacts of projected future climate change scenarios on irrigation and energy for irrigation demands in East Africa. He holds a Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University (2021), a master's in Sustainable Energy Technology from Delft University of Technology (2012), and a bachelor's in Chemical Engineering from Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí (2008).