Transport

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Transport sector accounts for almost 30% of all energy consumption globally

Whether moving freight or passengers, transportation plays a major role in our society and economy. There are broadly four different modes of transport – air, road, rail and marine. Demand for transport has been rapidly increasing along with economic growth and is expected to continue to do so well into the future. Currently, the transport sector is one of the largest sources of both greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution because of its heavy reliance on energy-dense oil products, mainly petrol and diesel. Despite the strong pressures to move away from hydrocarbons due to the need to mitigate climate change and national plans to reduce reliance on fuel imports, there has so far been limited success in shifting towards a low carbon transport sector, especially in comparison to achievements in electricity. Shifting to lower carbon fuels in transport is a difficult task since neither batteries nor hydrogen can yet provide energy density levels high enough to substitute for oil products in some use cases. However, policy initiatives in the UK and worldwide are facilitating the shift to lower carbon means of transport, including financial incentives for buying low-emission cars, and various bans announced on future sales of petrol and diesel cars.

A transformation of the transport sector is underway, characterised mainly by three trends: electrification, shared mobility and automation. Widespread integration of electric vehicles to the energy system is expected to have significant systemic impacts, as it can allow the roll-out of smart charging at scale; this can provide additional flexibility for managing the electrical grid. Though this transformation is driven by technological developments and market forces, these changes present opportunities to achieve a more sustainable transportation sector. There is particular potential to reduce transport emissions through changes such as modal shift, behavioural change, vehicle efficiency improvements, the use of low carbon fuels, and new business models.

Learn more about transport by exploring our Energy Insights.

For the latest news and articles on the transport sector read New Energy World.

View our dedicated Collection on Road Fuels.

What's new?

Ship-based carbon capture demonstration pilot suggests capture rates up to 85% are achievable

28/02/2024

The SBCC demonstration project is being run by the EverLoNG international project consortium*. The technology was installed onboard the Seapeak Arwa, ...

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$2tn a year needed to triple global renewables by 2030 and ensure ‘energy for all’

28/02/2024

‘$2tn a year sounds like a cost, but it’s really a choice. We’re set to invest over $6tn in fossil fuels over this decade – more than enough to close ...

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European Commission targets tighter emissions reductions target

14/02/2024

The new target will need to be formally adopted by the next Commission after the EU elections this summer. However, this is expected to be ‘challengin...

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Global clean energy investment hits record level – but still not high enough

07/02/2024

The Energy Transition Investment Trends 2024 report finds that electrified transport is now the largest sector for spending in the energy transition, ...

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Design begins on world’s first retrofit electric crew transfer vessel

31/01/2024

The £8mn initiative being undertaken by Tidal Transit has secured £6.3mn funding from the UK’s Zero Emissions Vessel and Infrastructure (ZEVI) competi...

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Events and training

UK MoD Aviation Fuels Committee Meeting

19/03/2024 - 20/03/2024

The conference for receiving essential guidance and updates on aviation fuel specifications.Please note that bookings close at 17:00 GMT, 14 March 202...

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Human Factors Foundation - April 2024

15/04/2024 - 19/04/2024

This 5-day course delivers a comprehensive introduction into human factors for non-specialists. It provides a practical, engaging and interactive back...

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Delivering Safety Culture Change using the Hearts and Minds Toolkit - April 2024

23/04/2024 - 25/04/2024

This 3-day interactive classroom course with certificate, will teach delegates the fundamentals of improving safety culture using the award-winning He...

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Delivering Safety Culture Change using the Hearts and Minds Toolkit - October 2024

08/10/2024 - 10/10/2024

This 3-day interactive classroom course with certificate, will teach delegates the fundamentals of improving safety culture using the award-winning He...

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Human Factors Foundation - November 2024

04/11/2024 - 08/11/2024

This 5-day course delivers a comprehensive introduction into human factors for non-specialists. It provides a practical, engaging and interactive back...

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Technical guidance publications

Energy Essentials: A guide to hydrogen

2024

Energy Essentials: A guide to hydrogenThis guide is written for everyday energy consumers. It sets out what hydrogen is; how it is made transported an...

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Guidance for UK hydrogen safety case development onshore and offshore

2023

The good practice guidance was commissioned by the EI’s Safety Case Working Group for operators who wish to produce, transport, and store hydrog...

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Research report: Landscape review of skills needed for an emerging hydrogen based economy

2023

This landscape review of skills has been commissioned by the Energy Institute (EI) as Phase 1 of a multi-phase programme to identify the skills needs ...

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Properties and their derivations of commercial transport fuels

2022

The battles for the cleanness and temperature rise limitation of the atmosphere involve the development of a range of alternative fuels that are both ...

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Waste to products – Technology and economic assessment (phase 1)

2022

This document is free to download for registered users.The EMG and Soil Wastes and Groundwater group (SWG) of the EI and Concawe have commissioned E4t...

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Aviation fuel collection

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Road fuels collection

Read through The Retail Marketing Survey (RMS), published annually by the EI in Petroleum Review. DIscover further information, technical guidance and training related to road fuels