Analysts say Texas lignite mining faces grim future

first_imgAnalysts say Texas lignite mining faces grim future FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):As renewable energy sources increasingly displace coal-fired power generation in Texas, the state’s lignite producers and Powder River Basin thermal coal miners could see a key market dry up.Wind and solar are entering the grid “at very low price points,” and if natural gas remains cheap, more coal-fired generation will likely be driven into retirement, especially older plants with higher operating costs, said Fred Beach, assistant director for policy studies at the University of Texas at Austin’s Energy Institute. “This has nothing to do with politics,” Beach said. “This is just pure economics.”Beach estimated that Texas coal mining will shut down entirely within a decade if plant retirements continue. The state’s low-quality lignite coal is not valuable enough to pay to transport, and production is already dwindling, with North Dakota surpassing Texas in the first half of 2018 as the largest U.S. lignite producer.In the first 10 months of 2018, five Texas mines sent all their coal to generators in the state, totaling 19.5 million tons, according to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.While a shrinking demand for coal would be a blow to Texas mining companies, Wyoming coal producers would also take a hit. More ($): Texas coal mining could end within a decade as renewables take overlast_img

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