Kury's current research interests include economics, energy, energy policy, energy risk management, energy and the environment, storm hardening, grid security, energy markets and regulatory policy.
Industry Expertise (2)
Areas of Expertise (7)
Energy and the Environment
Media Appearances (5)
What happened in Texas raises questions about Florida's power system
Florida Trend online
“Could what happened in Texas happen here?” says Ted Kury, energy studies director with the University of Florida’s Public Utility Research Center, repeating a question. He pauses awhile. “It’s possible,” he allows.
How can Texas avoid catastrophe the next time extreme weather hits?
So how can the Lone Star State gird its energy system against inevitable future disasters? Ted Kury, the director of Energy Studies at the University of Florida's Public Utility Research Center, tells Mic that one of the most important actions would be to have generators on hand that are specifically prepared for extreme weather events. Of course, because of Texas's energy market, which is largely isolated from the rest of the country, this is a challenge, Kury notes.
Biden Administration Approved Texas Power Request, Contrary to False Claim
Ted Kury, director of energy studies for the Public Utility Research Center at the University of Florida, said “when wholesale prices get high, the market operator is actually hoping that this sends a signal to folks to stop using electricity.” That works for, say, large companies — but it often ends up being punitive for residential customers.
How wind and solar toppled Exxon from its place as America’s top energy company
In 1996, a major reform by the Bill Clinton-era Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) opened a lucrative door for Florida Power & Light. Factories and other large electricity users were frustrated at being stuck with high rates, says Ted Kury, director of energy studies for the University of Florida’s Public Utility Research Center. FERC Order 888 allowed states to de-monopolize their electricity sectors, for the first time inviting power companies to compete.
After Irma, Florida prepares for days — and maybe weeks — without power
The Washington Post online
The high number of outages across Florida were due largely to the storm’s massive size, said Ted Kury, director of energy studies for the Public Utility Research Center at the University of Florida. “For a significant period of time, the entire state was under a hurricane warning,” Kury said. “Normally it comes through, sometimes it comes through fast and sometimes it comes through slowly. But this one hit pretty much everybody.
The gas tax’s tortured history shows how hard it is to fund new infrastructureThe Conversation
Theodore J. Kury
2021 As the Biden administration and Republicans negotiate a possible infrastructure spending package, how to pay for it has been a key sticking point. President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress want to raise taxes on the rich, while some Republicans have been pushing for an increase in the gas tax – which would be the first in 28 years. A bipartisan group of senators recently crafted a compromise bill that would pay for just under US$1 trillion in spending on rail, roads and bridges over five years in part by indexing the gas tax to inflation. Democrats call this regressive because it would raise taxes on working Americans.
The impact of coordination on wholesale market participation: The case of the U.S. electricity industryUtilities Policy
Theodore J Kury
2015 Coordination costs in a wholesale electricity market are a relevant public policy consideration. The mitigation of coordination costs, all else equal, should increase participation in the marketplace. Since Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Order 888 was issued in 1996, the level of trading activity in bulk electricity markets has increased significantly. In 1999, FERC issued Order 2000 to advance the role of regional transmission organizations (RTOs) in the restructured marketplace for wholesale electricity. RTOs have the potential to reduce the coordination costs, while also having the countervailing effect of causing market participants to incur compliance costs. This paper utilizes the diversity of the United States electricity market and a panel data set representing electric utilities for the period 1990–2009 to study the effects that RTOs have had on wholesale electricity exchange. The paper finds that the presence of a transparent wholesale marketplace for electricity has the effect of increasing participation, but this participation is uneven across types of electric utilities. Greater participation is seen for investor-owned and larger utilities. The results have important implications for policy aimed at wholesale markets and the transmission organizations, as the opportunities afforded by transparency may not be uniformly distributed across all market participants.
Challenges in Quantifying Optimal CO2 Emissions PolicySSRN
2014 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a proposed rule to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants on June 2, 2014. Implementing public policy without understanding its economic impacts can be costly and unproductive. This problem is paramount when a price of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is considered as a vehicle for abatement. Many studies have attempted to quantify the economic significance of such actions. These studies focus on levels of variables such as the amount of CO2 emissions, the cost of emissions allowances, and the broad impact of increased electricity prices, rather than on the marginal effects of policy change. This paper addresses this deficiency by utilizing a model that simulates the dispatch of electric generating units in the state of Florida and demonstrates that the incremental cost of abatement curves may fluctuate and may not be well-behaved, and that this complicates identifying an ‘optimal’ level of abatement and how it may be achieved. Agreement on the marginal costs and marginal benefits of CO2 abatement can be seen as a necessary condition for the determination of an optimal level of abatement, but not a sufficient one.
The Impact of the Transparency of Wholesale Markets on Market Participation: The Case of the U.S. Electricity IndustrySSRN
2013 Coordination costs in a wholesale market are the need to determine the price and other parameters of the transaction, make the existence of buyers and sellers known to one another, and bring buyers and sellers together. The mitigation of coordination costs, all else equal, should increase participation in the marketplace. Since Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Order 888 was issued in 1996, the trade in bulk electricity markets has increased significantly. In 1999 FERC issued Order 2000 to explore the role of regional transmission organizations in the restructured electricity marketplace. RTOs can reduce the coordination costs required to participate in the wholesale electricity markets, but also cause compliance costs to be incurred. Therefore, there are countervailing effects of these organizations on participation in the wholesale markets. This paper utilizes the diversity of the United States electricity market and a panel data set of electric utilities for the period 1990-2009 to study the effects that RTOs have had on the trade of wholesale electricity. The paper finds that the presence of a transparent wholesale marketplace for electricity has the effect of increasing participation, but that this participation does not occur symmetrically across all types of electric utilities. Greater participation is induced in privately-owned and larger utilities. These results have important implications for public policy aimed at increasing transparency in wholesale markets, and the organizations that facilitate it, as the opportunities afforded by this policy may not be uniformly distributed across all market participants.
Price effects of independent transmission system operators in the United States electricity marketJournal of Regulatory Economics
Theodore J Kury
2013 In 1996, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) sought to “remove impediments to competition in the wholesale bulk power marketplace and to bring more efficient, lower cost power to the Nation’s electricity consumers” through a series of market rules. A product of these rules was the establishment of regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs) charged with facilitating equal access to the transmission grid for electricity suppliers. Whether these changes in market structure have succeeded in achieving FERC’s goal to provide “lower cost power to the Nation’s electricity consumers” remains an open question. This paper utilizes a panel data set of the 48 contiguous United States and a treatment effects model in first differences to determine whether there have been changes in delivered electric prices as a result of the establishment of ISOs and RTOs. To avoid the confounding effects of electric restructuring, the model is estimated with the full panel data set, and then again without the states that have restructured their electric markets. This estimation shows that electricity prices fall approximately 4.8 % in the first 2 years of an ISO’s operation and that this result is statistically significant. However, this result is dependent on the presence of states that restructured their electricity markets. When these restructured states are removed from the data set the price effects of RTOs become indistinguishable from zero. The paper concludes that rate agreements are the principal source of the observed decrease in prices and that RTOs have not had the desired effect on electricity prices.