Over the last fifteen years the world's largest developing countries have initiated market reforms in their electric power sectors from generation to distribution. This book evaluates the experiences of five of those countries - Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa - as they have shifted from state-dominated systems to schemes allowing for a larger private sector role. As well as having the largest power systems in their regions and among the most rapidly rising consumption of electricity in the world, these countries are the locus of massive financial investment and the effects of their power systems are increasingly felt in world fuel markets. In-depth case studies also reveal important variations in reform efforts. This accessible volume explains the origins of these reform efforts and offers a theory as to why - despite diverse backgrounds - reform efforts in all five countries have stalled in similar ways.