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Coal is on its way out, says Vistra Energy CEO as company shuts down coal plants

  • Coal is a less competitive as an energy source with cheaper options, like natural gas and renewable energy, on the market, says Vistra Energy CEO Curtis Morgan.
  • The company shut down 4,200 megawatts of coal-fire capacity earlier this year, and has invested in a 180-megawatt solar plant in Texas.

Coal is becoming a less competitive energy source with cheaper options like natural gas and other renewables on the market, Vistra Energy CEO Curtis Morgan told CNBC's Jim Cramer on Monday.

"I don't believe [coal] is going to have a renaissance," Morgan said in an exclusive "Mad Money" interview. "I think it's on its way out."

"As much as I believe it is going to be part of the energy infrastructure around power, I believe that other sources are now catching up with coal in terms of the overall costs," Morgan said.

Those other sources include solar, wind and battery power, even as industries like solar are facing constraints under President Donald Trump's administration.

In February, Vistra Energy, parent company to TXU Energy and Luminant, shut down 4,200 megawatts of coal-fire capacity "because they just couldn't make it in today's world," Morgan said.

Looking to the future, the company has invested in a 180-megawatt solar plant in Texas, the CEO said, adding that Vistra's leadership is continuing to look into other renewables like battery power.

"Batteries just open up a very different world and they're becoming more and more cost-effective," Morgan told Cramer. "When you combine batteries with the intermittent nature of renewables, you can create a more stable electric product."

Vistra Energy has a market cap of $9.4 billion and serves nearly 3 million retail customers. Vistra shares were trading just over $21 Monday, compared with about $16 a year ago.

Watch Curtis Morgan's full interview here:

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