The energy supply sector in general and the power industry in particular were traditionally dominated by vertically integrated monopolies. A single company took care of all the business fields such as generation, transmission, distribution and selling of electricity. Consumers had no choice of suppliers; they had to buy electricity from their regional utility. Since the beginning of the 90s of the last century, however, the entire energy sector is worldwide undergoing a major transition from monopoly to a market based business. The overall objective of this development has been to lower costs and to foster competition.
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