Privatisation and deregulation have opened up the market to intense competition, giving consumers and businesses more choices to meet their energy needs. Increasing scrutiny from investors, regulators and customers regarding social responsibility, sustainability and environmental matters have placed considerable pressure on utility providers to lower distribution costs, improve system reliability and transparency, conserve valuable finite natural resources and reduce carbon emissions.

There is also ongoing pressure on capital expenditure to renew or replace ageing networks and old power plants, and remove major bottlenecks in both transmission and generation. On top of this, distributed renewable generation and electric vehicle charging are beginning to make the supply and demand situation much more volatile and unpredictable.