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?

UK transport decarbonisation – the challenges ahead

26-03-2020
The UK government has published a document that it claims marks ‘the beginning of a conversation to develop the policies needed to decarbonise transport’ in the country. Entitled Decarbonising transport: Setting the challenge, the report sets out the challenge that needs to be met to reduce tra...

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New technologies to be tested under new UK transport regulatory review

16-03-2020
The UK government has launched a consultation to make journeys easier, smarter and greener through new technology as part of its Future of transport regulatory review.The review will consider how we make small changes to our everyday travel decisions and whether we could choose to walk, cy...

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Electrification can cut emissions of transport, buildings and industry in Europe by 60% by 2050

11-02-2020
Electrification of the transport, buildings and industrial sectors in Europe could slash greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 60% between 2020 and 2050, according to a new report published by BloombergNEF (BNEF).A revolution in the use of energy by these three sectors is possible over the next 30 years...

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Decarbonise transport, Professional Engineering, February 2020, p 13

1-02-2020
The IMechE has launched research into the life cycle of various fuels ranging from biofuels mixed with gasoline to hydrogen for use in passenger vehicles, contained in a paper ‘Accelerating Road Transport Decarbonisation’. Recommendations include 10% bioethanol in gasoline (E10) and 7% in diesel fue...

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Biogas in transport, Energy World, February 2020, p 23

1-02-2020
In UK, transport is responsible for 26% of all carbon emissions, and 45% of all NOx pollutants. The 2040 ban on fossil-fuelled vehicles does not include HGVs, lorries and buses, but organisations such as Waitrose, Ocado and Hermes are already using biomethane-fuelled fleets, and the Post Office is t...

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Events and training

Oil and Gas Industry Fundamentals - Awareness - September 2020

10-09-2020
This 2-day awareness training course provides delegates with an overview of principal activities in the international upstream, midstream and downstream petroleum industry.

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Delivering Safety Culture Change using the Hearts and Minds Toolkit - October 2020

12-10-2020
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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Oil and Gas Industry Fundamentals - Intensive - December 2020

2-12-2020
This intensive 3-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. 

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North Eastern Future Energy for Transport

4-12-2018
As we move to a more de-carbonised world more focus has been put on reducing emissions for the transport industries (public, commercial & domestic).

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L2: Energy management and transport

About this course: This online course provides an overview of the transport sector in relation to energy consumption and carbon emissions. On this course, you will learn how to develop and understand an organisation’s transport energy profile, the various calculation methods used to estimate e...

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Technical guidance publications

Case study on reducing manual handling and ergonomics related incidents in the offshore wind industry

2020
This document provides support and practical examples to help reduce MH&E related incidents in the offshore wind industry. The requirement for support and guidelines to reduce MH incidents in the offshore wind industry originates from:Reporting that indicates that MH injuries are one of the larg...

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French translation - G+/DROPS Reliable securing booklet for offshore wind

2020
Free to download. For more information on the G+ visit www.gplusoffshorewind.comThis document is an adaptation of selected DROPS Reliable securing, Best practice recommendations for the securing of structure and equipment at the worksite content to provide guidance and functional reco...

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HM 93. A guide to manual sampling of hydrocarbon liquids

2020
Anyone involved in oil production, transportation, refining, storage or distribution will be aware of the importance of sampling and testing to ensure that crude oil and products meet the required specifications. This guide provides practical advice on sampling of hydrocarbon liquids across a wide r...

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G+ Safe by design Workshop report update: WTG service lifts – follow-up on workshop conclusions

2020
This publication is available to download for free for registered users.A Safe by Design workshop on wind turbine generator (WTG) service lifts was held on 22 September 2016 in London. From this workshop a report was published, with recommendations (G+ Safe by Design workshop report: WTG service lif...

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French translation - Good practice guideline - The safe management of small service vessels used in the offshore wind industry

2020
This is the French translation of the publication Good practice guideline - The safe management of small service vessels used in the offshore wind industry. This is a translation of the 2nd edition of the English, which can be downloaded for free here.The G+ Global Offshore Wind Health &am...

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