Since the 1990s the stable world of electricity supply has become tumultuous. In this text international contributors show how electricity reform is, at root, an issue of sustainable development. Electricity reform represents an opportunity to focus attention on the 1.7 billion of the world's poor without access to electricity. It could also be an opportunity to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases while promoting development and supporting livelihoods. The concern is not solely one of a missed opportunity. Inappropriately done, electricity reform could hinder progress toward a more socially and environmentally sustainable energy future. Drawing on six country studies - Argentina, Bulgaria, Ghana, India, Indonesia and South Africa - the contributors examine whether and how the process of electricity reform can support rather than hinder sustainable development. Instead of sustainable development, they find that financial concerns and donor conditions have driven electricity reform.