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?

Kick-starting a global low-carbon ammonia industry

30/11/2022
The global ammonia market currently stands at 200mn t/y. Ammonia is used in everything from fertilisers and cleaning products to processes such as wat...

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UK Autumn Statement: More heat on average energy users and 45% levy on low carbon electricity generators

23/11/2022
Let’s look at the statement in detail. Energy bills: Many were concerned to learn that help with escalating energy bills is being scaled back. Fr...

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Urgent action needed in Africa for sustainable cities and built environments

16/11/2022
The Manifesto has been developed by the WorldGBC in collaboration with 15 African Green Building Councils, supported by WorldGBC partners. The 15 Afri...

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New SAF blending and production projects unveiled in Japan

09/11/2022
The Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) have selected Itochu Corporation for a project t...

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Sustainable Markets Initiative launches energy transition framework at COP27

09/11/2022
Reaching net zero calls for a transformation of how we produce and consume energy. This requires a reduction in emissions while developing green alter...

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Events and training

UK MoD Aviation Fuels Committee Meeting

28/03/2023
Receive essential guidance and updates on aviation fuel specifications.Please note that bookings close on 27 March 2023, 17:00 GMT

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Human Factors Foundation - April 2023

17/04/2023
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 - May 2023

09/05/2023
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 - October 2023

02/10/2023
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 - May 2023

17/10/2023
This 3-day interactive classroom course with certificate, will teach delegates the fundamentals of improving safety culture using the award-winning He...

Read more »

Technical guidance publications

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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Research report: Application of life cycle assessment methodology to the understanding of the energy balance and efficiency of hydrogen value chain building blocks

2022
This document is free to download for registered users.This publication explores the efficiencies of the hydrogen energy system and quantifies the ene...

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EI 1533 Quality assurance requirements for semi-synthetic jet fuel and synthetic blending components (SBC)

2022
EI 1533 provides quality assurance requirements and recommendations for the manufacture of synthetic (jet fuel) blending components (in accordance wit...

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Investigation insights - Tool 2: An investigator's role

2022
This purchase only includes chapter 3 of the Investigation insights toolkit.  Alternatively, the full toolkit can be purchased in one p...

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