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Transport sector accounts for 25% of all energy consumption in the world

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 records published on our Energy Matrix.

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

Discover UK professionals' views on decarbonising transport by reading our annual Energy Barometer.

What's new?

Road to net-zero emissions for heavy industries and transport

1-02-2019
A new report called Mission possible by the Energy Transitions Commission aims to encourage accelerated change towards net-zero emissions by 2050 in harder-to-abate industry sectors, like cement, steel, chemicals and heavy-duty transport.

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Emissions targets for transport sector won’t be met by using natural gas alone

28-01-2019
Using natural gas fuel combined with other methods could help the road freight and shipping industries meet emissions targets, according to a new white paper released by Imperial College London.The new white paper, written by academics at Imperial’s Sustainable Gas Institute, Imperial’s Centre for T...

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Energy Insight: Transport fuels technology -update service

4-01-2019
Since publishing Transport Fuels Technology in year 2000, Dr Eric Goodger CEng FEI has continued to update by detecting and abstracting items of relevant news across the scientific/engineering literature. These abstracts are included on a continuing basis on the website of the Energy Institute.Thes...

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Transport Fuels Technology update Service: Correlated papers on Transport fuels today ... and tomorrow? Year 2018

1-01-2019
What the literature tells us during year 2018 Since publishing Transport Fuels Technology* in year 2000, Eric Goodger has continued to update by detecting and abstracting items of relevant news across the scientific/engineering literature.   These abstracts are included on a continuing bas...

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Transport, Separation technology turns steel working emissions into biofuels, Energy World, January 2019, p 6

1-01-2019
In Belgium, Sulzer and the AccelorMittal plant have partnered with LanzaTech using the autogenic bacterium to ferment CO-rich waste gases into ethanol. 

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Events and training

Delivering Safety Culture Change using the Hearts and Minds Toolkit - May 2019

21-05-2019
This 3-day interactive training course and certificate will teach delegates the fundamentals of improving safety culture using the award-winning Hearts and Minds toolkit.  It will teach the fundamentals of safety culture change, focusing on the various stages of a culture change programme, from...

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Meeting the UK’s long-term climate change targets – a review

22-05-2019
Debate and discuss the outcomes of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Special Report.

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Oil and Gas Industry Fundamentals 4-day training - June 2019

11-06-2019
This 4-day course is a leading course presented by an industry expert and practitioner. Delegates will cover the key sectors of the oil and gas industry from exploration through to fuel retailing. They will learn about the industry value chain covering conventional and unconventional resources, dril...

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Supply and distribution: organisation, operations and economics - September 2019

2-09-2019
This 3-day training course is designed for those who are or will be operating in the Supply & Distribution functions and will provide the background knowledge to allow them to take the right decisions on how to supply the network at the right cost. 

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NEBOSH International Technical Certificate in Oil and Gas Operational Safety

9-09-2019
This NEBOSH International Technical Certificate in Oil & Gas Operational Safety training will provide students with an industry recognised qualification for individuals with safety responsibilities in the oil and gas industry. The course is available as a 5-day classroom course, E-Learning and I...

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Technical guidance publications

Safety notice: Electrical/electronic devices energised by button cells in hazardous areas (potentially explosive atmospheres)

2019
This poster is free to download for all registered users.The Safety Notice/Training Poster is aimed at operators, managers, trainers and staff of petroleum industry facilities which contain hazardous areas and are unsure about the ignition risk that the use of button cell energised devices may pose....

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Guidance for corrosion management in oil and gas production and processing

2019
*This publication has a large file size, please allow extra time for the PDF to download*This second edition of the EI's Guidance on corrosion management in oil and gas production and processing provides general principles and essential engineering guidance and requirements for improving corrosion m...

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A test method for measuring the electrostatic charge produced by aviation filter-monitor retrofit technologies

2019
This publication provides a report of work undertaken by Dr Harold Walmsley to develop a test method for the measurement of jet fuel charge densities generated by new filter elements intended to retrofit into existing vessels currently used as filter-monitor systems. It also provides the test method...

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EI Research report: Investigation into the possible risks arising from the presence and operation of lithium-ion (rechargeable) button cell energised devices in potentially flammable atmospheres associated with transport fuels

2018
Please note that an addendum was issued in September 2018 for this publication, it is available for download and present in both the sample pages and the full PDF.This report was undertaken to assess the possible ignition risks posed by rechargeable lithium-ion button cell energised devices in poten...

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Design, construction, modification, maintenance and decommissioning of filling stations (known as the Blue Book)

2018
The fourth edition of Design, construction, modification, maintenance and decommissioning of filling stations (also known as the Blue Book) is essential reading for all those involved in the design, construction, modification, maintenance and decommissioning of facilities for the storage and dispens...

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