Column: Market review
Generator step-up transformers
The development of global power generating capacity since the first “oil shock” in the early 1970s has evolved dramatically and has had a fundamental impact on the production of generator step-up (GSU) transformers. With relatively cheap oil prices in the order of $10 per barrel, this and coal was the fuel of choice for most developed country electricity utility companies. The almost overnight tripling of the price of oil to the unimaginable levels of $30 per barrel forced a major rethink and re-assessment of the future plans. Security and diversity of energy fuel supply became the order of the day for those countries with an unhealthy reliance on hitherto cheap imported fossil fuel. Germany and the UK with indigenous plentiful supplies of brown coal and black coal, respectively, developed these resources, as did the USA with plentiful coal and oil; France and Japan with no natural resources installed base-load nuclear power – as did many of the major power producers around the world.
Most of the capacity shown in Table 1 was installed in the decade 1975 to 1985 and most of the individual reactors were in the order of 300 MWe each.
Table 1. Installed nuclear generating capacity worldwide