Coal was the top power source for Texas in January, a spot typically held by natural gas, according to data compiled last week by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which oversees power for most of the state.
Natural gas prices rose in January, after they were the lowest they had been since 1999. Rising natural gas prices pushed coal use up around the country at the start of 2017, even though 2016 was the first year that coal dropped to the number two energy spot in the U.S.
In January, coal provided nearly 36 percent of Texas’ energy, followed by natural gas at 30 percent and wind at 20 percent. Solar and hydropower were the lowest contributors to Texas’ energy mix — each contributed 0.4 percent. But that could be considered a big jump for solar, which in 2015 had a negligible presence in Texas’ energy portfolio.
Typically in Texas, natural gas claims the first place, followed by coal and wind or nuclear power.