In the wake of the recent power outage in Tbilisi, I decided to delve into electric power consumption in the Former Soviet Union (FSU) space. In this article, I explore the kWh per capita consumption in various FSU countries, based on data from the World Bank. Surprisingly, Russia, with a minimum wage of $160 per month, has the highest kWh per capita consumption, followed by Estonia, which has a higher standard of living.
This article serves as a starting point to better understand the economy of a country by studying its electric power consumption.
Electric power consumption (kWh per capita) in Former Soviet Union 2011
Data source: World Bank
And here comes my largest surprise - Russia has the largest kWh per capita consumption in FSU space. Why it's surprise for me? I was never thinking that in country where minimum wage is about $160 per month, the kWh consumption could be higher than in countries where minimum wage is $400 and more (Baltic States). Why? Because I believed that more consumption is in economically more developed countries. I was wrong!
So by saying this, I made an attribution issue - thinking that electricity can be consumed only by households - again- wrong. Electricity in Russia, I believe is consumed in fabrics and factories as well, and some huge amount is spent for military needs - taking in account that Russia spends 6.486 kWh per capita, there is no other explanation for me.
Estonia is second in former Soviet space in terms of consumption of electric power - and Estonia is close to Russia - 6,314 kWh per capita. Again - is it because they have higher standard of living or they are the same evil masterminds using electric power to power their military?
The least consumption of electric power is in Moldova - 1,470 kWh.
Well - what can I more add to this? To better understand some country's economy - consumption of electric power is one of the main indicators, right? Now it would be great to compare FSU countries by their producing sectors, measure their impact on GDP - to find out more precise information how electric power impacts it. But that's for another article.
Now, I'm still not sure - why Russia has the largest electric power consumption per capita in FSU - could you add you opinion?