Cable.co.uk has gathered data from 3,883 energy tariffs across the globe to compile the most complete league table of global consumer energy pricing yet.Download data (.xls)
Countries are colour-coded by the average price of one kilowatt hour (one kWh) of electricity. As you can see, this paints an interesting picture, with a lot of the countries where energy is cheapest in Northern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the former USSR, with some of the most expensive being in the Caribbean and the remote island nations of the Pacific Ocean.
Hovering over an individual country will bring up its associated data. This includes country name, its ranking out of the 230 countries measured, the average cost of one KWh, its cheapest available kWh, and its most expensive kWh.
Unlike our measurements of worldwide broadband speed and worldwide broadband pricing, where lack of fixed-line infrastructure meant significant gaps, energy provision is near-ubiquitous. However, there are some countries or territories where either minimal electricity provision exists, there exists only very basic infrastructure, or the information simply isn't available. And there are countries and regions where problems with the currency do not allow for useful comparison.
It is a small list, however. This year's excluded countries are: Eritrea, Western Sahara, British Indian Ocean Territory, Tokelau, Turkmenistan, Vatican City, Venezuela, Wallis and Futuna, and Svalbard and Jan Mayen. You can find the reasons behind the exclusion of each of these countries in the second tab of the downloadable data.
Other connectivity-focused data published by Cable.co.uk and various data partners are as follows:
The Worldwide broadband speed league by Cable.co.uk in association with M-Lab, a partnership between New America's Open Technology Institute, Google Inc., Princeton University's PlanetLab, and other supporting partners.
The worldwide mobile data pricing by Cable.co.uk.
The worldwide broadband price comparison by Cable.co.uk.
And finally, our study of global network speeds during Covid 19 lockdown periods in conjunction with the Oxford Covid Lockdown Stringency Tracker.
Here is a quick look at some of the highlights unearthed in the study
Libya’s energy prices are heavily state-subsidised and the country is entirely self-sufficient when it comes to electricity, as a result of its plentiful oil reserves and growing renewable energy projects.
With large oil and natural gas supplies, along with huge investment in hydropower, Angola is working towards extending electrification to 60% of the population by 2025. It is the third-largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Sudan relies on hydropower for around 50% of its electricity supply, and is also investing in solar energy. The country’s urban areas enjoy state-subsidised electricity, however up to 50% of the country is yet to be electrified.
Hydropower is a major source of electricity in Kygyzstan, accounting for over 90% of domestically generated electricity, and is generously state-subsidised. The country also imports electricity from its neighbours.
Here we take a closer look at the five most and least expensive countries in the world to buy one kWh and outline why they are priced in such a way
The five most expensive countries in terms of the average cost of one kWh are the Solomon Islands (USD 0.692), St Helena (USD 0.612), Vanuatu (USD 0.591), the Cook Islands (USD 0.523) and Micronesia (USD 0.484).
The similarities between these five nations are both striking and obvious. Four of five are in Oceania, and all five are island nations. Oceania is one of the most expensive regions in the world for electricity, while island nations also tend to be among the most expensive.
The five cheapest countries in terms of the average cost of one kWh are Libya (USD 0.007), Angola (USD 0.013), Sudan (USD 0.014), Kyrgyzstan (USD 0.017), and Zimbabwe (USD 0.021).
Conversely to the most expensive, none of these countries is an island, and three of the five are located in Sub-Saharan Africa. The cheapest, Libya, is in Northern Africa, with the only non-African country being Kyrgyzstan.
Here we take a closer look at how pricing is averaged in thirteen global regions, and talk a little about the current state of each with regard to electricity pricing.
Asian nations make up less than a fifth of the top 20 cheapest countries for electricity, with none of them reaching the top ten. Bhutan (USD 0.036) is the cheapest, followed by Mongolia (USD 0.041) and Iran (USD 0.044). The most expensive of the Asian countries is Japan (USD 0.211) followed by Singapore (USD 0.195), both of which are more than the global average price per kWh of USD 0.165.
Two of the three Baltic nations included in the study sit inside the less expensive half of the list. Estonia is the cheapest of the three with one kWh costing an average of USD 0.125 and sits in 94th place in the world, while in Latvia one kWh costs USD 0.154 on average. Lithuania sits in the most expensive half of the list with an average of USD 0.173, above the global average of USD 0.165.
Most Caribbean nations are in the more expensive half of the study results. Curaçao is the most expensive in the Caribbean with an average of USD 0.419, while an average one kWh in Puerto Rico is eight times cheaper at USD 0.049. The Caribbean consists of island nations where electricity generation tends to be more difficult.
The cheapest electricity tariffs in Central America can be found in Mexico, where one kWh costs USD 0.052 on average. Prices are somewhat steeper in Costa Rica (USD 0.110), in Panama (USD 0.149) and Belize (USD 0.194). The most expensive country in Central America is El Salvador, where an average one kWh costs USD 0.229.
A number of CIS countries are among the very cheapest in the world for electricity and they all sit well inside the cheaper half of the table. The region is the cheapest in the world for electricity overall, averaging USD 0.049 per kWh. Kyrgyzstan is fourth-cheapest in the world with an average of USD 0.017, ahead of Russia in 22nd place (USD 0.050). The most expensive in the region is Georgia, which still manages to be 61st cheapest in the world (USD 0.088).
All the Eastern European nations bar two sit in the cheaper half of the table. Serbia (USD 0.061) is the cheapest in the region, followed by Poland (USD 0.070), Moldova (USD 0.085) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (USD 0.085). Slovenia is the most expensive in Eastern Europe, with one kWh costing USD 0.173 on average.
Kuwait is the cheapest country in the Near East region and 10th cheapest in the world, with one kWh costing an average of USD 0.033. Qatar and Yemen (USD 0.036) are jointly second cheapest, very closely followed by Iraq (USD 0.039). The most expensive electricity in the region can be found in Cyprus, where the average price of one kWh is USD 0.208.
All of the six North African countries are in the cheapest half of the table. Libya is both the cheapest in the region and in the world at USD 0.007. The most expensive in the region is Morocco (USD 0.131), which comes in at 100th cheapest in the world.
The United States is the cheapest country in the region (USD 0.109), followed by Canada (USD 0.124) and Greenland (0.250). The most expensive is Bermuda (USD 0.342), more than three times as expensive as the United States.
Oceania is the most expensive region in the world, averaging USD 0.303. All but three countries sit on the more expensive half of the table. New Caledonia is the cheapest (USD 0.091), closely followed by Fiji (USD 0.144), New Zealand (USD 0.153) and Australia (USD 0.172). The Solomon Islands (USD 0.692) is the most expensive, both in Oceania and in the world.
All but three of the South American countries are in the top 100 cheapest in the global table. Argentina is the cheapest in South America, with an average of USD 0.053, closely followed by Paraguay (USD 0.054) and Suriname (USD 0.065). The most expensive in the region is the Falkland Islands at USD 0.306, with Guyana the second most expensive at USD 0.237.
Sub-Saharan Africa has four of the top ten cheapest countries in the world and three of the top ten most expensive. Angola is both cheapest in the region and second-cheapest in the world, with an average of USD 0.013 per kWh. Sudan is close second with USD 0.014, and Zimbabwe is third with USD 0.021. The most expensive in the region is Saint Helena (0.612), 47 times more expensive than Angola.
The cheapest electricity in Western Europe is in Norway, where the average price of one kWh is USD 0.093. The Åland Islands (USD 0.118) is the second cheapest in Western Europe followed by Andorra (USD 0.127). Denmark is the most expensive in the region at USD 0.350. The UK (USD 0.251) is the 5th most expensive in Western Europe and comes 190th in the world for cheap electricity.
Downloadable versions of the data set (.xls), the original press release and the research methodology (.pdf)
The full data set can be downloaded here.
If you wish to see the original press release for this research, you can download it here as a PDF.
Our research methodology and notes on how to interpret the data can be downloaded here as a PDF.