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Texas natural gas use dips in 2013 as coal-fired output rebounds

HOUSTON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Natural gas fueled just 40 percent of the electricity consumed in Texas last year, down from nearly 45 percent in 2012 as higher gas prices and rising power consumption changed generation patterns, the Texas grid operator said Friday.

Coal accounted for 37.2 percent of the power generated in Texas last year, up from 33.8 percent in 2012.

Overall, electric use in the state's primary electric market rose 2.1 percent compared to 2012 as Texas sees additional population and economic growth, said the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the state's grid operator.

Annual electric consumption remained below 2011, a year when record-breaking weather conditions pushed electric use up by nearly 5 percent.

Major power producers in the state include Luminant, a unit of Energy Future Holdings, which is owned by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co LP and several private equity firms; NRG Energy ; Calpine Corp ; NextEra Energy and Exelon Corp.