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For the First Time, Wind Power Is About to Surpass Coal in Texas

By Will Wade

(Bloomberg) Wind power in Texas is about to blow past coal for the first time.

Turbines in the Lone Star State are forecast to generate 87 terawatt-hours of electricity in 2020, according to a report Thursday from Rystad Energy. That will exceed the roughly 84 terawatt-hours next year from coal plants.

The trend reflects the shifting dynamics of the U.S. power sector. Utilities are increasingly shunning coal because it’s a key driver of climate change, while costs for wind continue to slide. Wind will make up 10% of the country’s energy mix this year, and coal will slump to 23%, down from 44% a decade ago, according to Rystad. In Texas, which gets more power from wind than any other state, Vistra Energy Corp. closed more than 4 gigawatts of coal plants last year because they couldn’t compete with cheap natural gas and wind farms.

“Renewable energy technologies are reaching a level where new installations are not driven solely by policies or subsidies, but by economics,” Carlos Torres-Diaz, head of gas market research at the Oslo-based research company, said in a statement.

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