Transport final energy consumption by mode
Published (reviewed and quality assured)
- Transport final energy consumption by mode (TERM 001) - Assessment published Dec 2013
- Transport final energy consumption by mode (TERM 001) - Assessment published Jan 2013
- Transport final energy consumption by mode (TERM 001) - Assessment published Jan 2011
- Transport final energy consumption by mode (TERM 001) - Assessment published Oct 2010
- Transport final energy consumption by mode (TERM 001) - Assessment published Apr 2009
Justification for indicator selection
Energy consumption is an important driver of environmental pressure, most notably climate change. The growth of energy consumption in the transport sector is hampering efforts to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions and thus far measures to reduce energy consumption from transport have not had the desired effect.
- Climate and energy priorities for Europe: the way forward. Presentation of J.M. Barroso to the European Council, 20-21 March 2014.
- 2030 climate and energy goals for a competitive, secure and low-carbon EU economy IP/14/54 22/01/2014.
- Energy, Transport and GHG Emissions Trends to 2050: Reference Scenario 2013 European Commission. ISBN 978-92-79-33728-4, doi: 10.2833/17897.
- Towards low carbon transport in Europe Transport Research and Innovation Portal, DG MOVE. ISBN: 978-92-79-23255-8, doi:10.2832/7573
The total energy consumption in transport in Petajoule (PJ) from 1990 onwards. Transport modes included are bunkers (sea), air transport (domestic and international), inland navigation, rail transport and road transport.
Petajoule (1 PJ = 1015 J)
Policy context and targets
Reduction in fuel consumption by the transport sector and/or of its impacts may be achieved through three primary means:
- Avoid: reducing transport demand by limiting the number and length of trips;
- Shift: shift to more fuel efficient transport modes;
- Improve: increase the energy efficiency of vehicles and their energy sources; includes fuel switching – i.e. changing to renewable or low carbon fuels such as sustainable biofuels or using renewable generation technologies for electric/fuel cell vehicles.
Although climate policy and the Kyoto protocol are important drivers in reducing fossil fuel consumption (and air quality policy to a lesser extent), this indicator is primarily concerned with energy policy. Other related issues are addressed in TERM02 (Transport Emissions of Greenhouse Gases), TERM03 (Transport Emissions of Air Pollutants) and TERM 31 (Uptake of Cleaner and Alternative Fuels).
EU leaders have agreed to decide on the proposed 2030 policy framework for climate and energy by October 2014. If accepted, the 2030 framework will set targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, increasing the share of renewable energy to at least 27%, and continuing improvements in energy efficiency (EC, 2014a). No target has been set yet for energy efficiency, but this will be considered further later in 2014 in a review of the Energy Efficiency Directive.
In April 2014, the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement with the European Council on a Directive on the Deployment of Alternative Fuels Infrastructure, which included a requirement to install a minimum number of charging points for electric vehicles, and improve alternative fuel infrastructure (EC, 2014b).
In April 2010, the European Commission presented a strategy which builds upon the 2007 Action Plan for Energy Efficiency (COM(2006)545) increase uptake of clean and energy efficient vehicles. The European strategy on clean and energy efficient vehicles (COM(2010) 186) aims to reduce CO2 emissions from road transport by promoting energy efficient vehicles based on conventional internal combustion engines as well as facilitating the deployment of breakthrough technologies in ultra-low carbon vehicles. Guidelines on financial incentives for clean and energy efficient vehicles were published in 2013, aiming to enhance their effecitiveness and improve coordination of measures across the EU, and identify best practices (EC, 2013).
Recent agreements between Member States and the European Parliament have called for the emissions testing procedures to be updated, as soon as possible, to bring in the new worldwide harmonised light duty testing procedure (WLTP). This is expected to help address the current problem of a gap between the official homologated fuel consumption figures and those typically achieved under real-world driving conditions. According to the International Council of Clean Transportation (ICCT) the average discrepancy between type-approval and on-road CO2 emissions has increased considerably over the last decade, being below 10% in 2001 but increasing to around 25% by 2011 (ICCT, 2013).
The European Commission is also working towards the development of proposals for whole vehicle test cycles for Heavy Duty Vehicles that would facilitate potential future regulation of efficiency and/or tailpipe emissions from these vehicles.
Historical policy context
The Action Plan for Energy Efficiency (EC, 2006) was produced in 2006 for 2007-2012, based on the Green Paper on Energy Efficiency published in 2005 (EC, 2005) outlining a number of options for transport in terms of increasing energy efficiency. The Action Plan proposed a number of measures for transport including, a number of which have come to fruition:
- Reaffirming the Commission's commitment to addressing the issue of fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions from cars by proposing legislation (if necessary) to ensure that the 120g CO2/km target is achieved by 2012 (set in the Regulation No.443/2009).
- Strengthening EU-wide real time traffic and travel information systems and traffic management.
- Proposing legislation to harmonise requirements to promote fuel efficiency in driver education curricula and support projects.
- Promoting energy efficiency in the aviation sector through the on-going development of SESAR (Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research project). In March 2009 the European Parliament approved the second 'Single European Sky' (SES II) package consisting of two regulations aimed at improving the performance of the European aviation system in key areas such as safety, capacity, flight, cost efficiency and environmental sustainability, by coordinating and supervising member states' air traffic control systems and implementing common rules and performance targets.
- Including the (intra EU) aviation sector in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (adopted Directive 2009/29/EC). The changes to the scheme also include a start day of emissions trading between all EU countries by 2012.
- Exploiting the potential for optimising hull cleaning of ships, realising the benefits of shore-side electricity for harboured ships by proposing legislation and promoting short sea shipping and the motorways of the sea.
A number of measures aimed at implementing some of the above actions on climate change and energy use have subsequently been adopted:
- Decision No. 406/2009/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the effort of Member States to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to meet the Community’s greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments up to 2030.
- Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC (Renewable Energy Directive – RED).
- Directive 2009/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 amending Directive 2003/87/EC so as to improve and extend the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme of the Community
- Directive 2009/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 amending Directive 98/70/EC as regards the specification of petrol, diesel and gas-oil and introducing a mechanism to monitor and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and amending Council Directive 1999/32/EC as regards the specification of fuel used by inland waterway vessels and repealing Directive 93/12/EEC (Fuel Quality Directive - FQD);
- Regulation (EU) No 510/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2011 setting emission performance standards for new light commercial vehicles as part of the Union’s integrated approach to reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles. This regulation states that the average level of CO2 emissions from this vehicle class must not exceed 175 gCO2 per kilometre as from 2017 (the requirement will be introduced gradually as from 2014). From 2020, the level is not to exceed 147 grams of CO2 per kilometre (subject to confirmation of the feasibility of such a target).
- Regulation EC/661/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning type-approval requirements for the general safety of motor vehicles, their trailers and systems, components and separate technical units intended therefor. The Regulation introduces a large number of new technical requirements for new vehicle including compulsory tyre pressure monitoring systems, maximum rolling resistance limit for tyres and compulsory fitment of gear shift indicators (GSI).
Other policies of note include:
- Directive 2009/33/EC: Clean and Energy-efficient road transport, which is concerned with the requirement for public bodies to take into account energy and environmental impacts of road transport vehicles they are purchasing and operating.
- Regulation (EU) No 510/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2011. The legislation applies to vehicles used to carry goods weighing up to 3.5t (vans and car-derived vans, known as "N1") and which weigh less than 2610kg when empty. The EU fleet average of 175 g/km will be phased in between 2014 and 2017. In 2014 an average of 70 % of each manufacturer's newly registered vans must comply with the limit value curve set by the legislation. This proportion will rise to 75 % in 2015, 80 % in 2016, and 100 % from 2017 onwards. From 2020, a target of 147g/km is specified, subject to confirmation in a review of the Regulation that will be completed by 2013.
The EU has set itself a target of reducing GHG emissions by 30% in the context of a global agreement and a 20% reduction unilaterally by 2020 (from 1990 levels). The EU’s Roadmap for moving to a low-carbon economy in 2050 calls for a GHG reduction of 80% by 2050 as a global action to prevent climate change (Decision No 406/2009/EC).
If the 2030 policy framework, proposed in January 2014, is accepted later this year, these targets will be built upon, with additional targets of reducing GHG emissions by 40% by 2030, and increasing the renewable energy share by at least 27% by 2030. Improvements to energy efficiency are still encouraged (from the “20-20-20” target of increasing energy efficiency by 20% by 2020) but no new target has been proposed (EC, 2014a).
Two key documents published by the European Commission in 2011 outline possible strategies for the transport sector, compatible with the 2050 target. These are the ‘Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050’ (EC, 2011a) and the third decennial transport White Paper, ‘Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system’ (EC, 2011b). Both documents also support delivery of the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, and of the Commissions resource-efficient Europe flagship. The Roadmap has subsequently received endorsement from the European Parliament, which has also called upon the Commission to set additional interim greenhouse gas emission reduction for 2030 and 2040, including concrete objectives for each sector. The 2050 Roadmap proposes a greenhouse gas emission reduction target of 54-67% for transport (including international aviation but excluding maritime shipping). This level of reduction is also envisaged in the 2011 Transport White Paper strategy, plus an intermediate target of 20% reduction on 2008 GHG emissions by 2030. An additional objective to reduce CO2 emissions from maritime bunker fuels by at least 40 % (50 % if possible) on 2005 levels was also included.
Related policy documents
Decision on the effort of Member States to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to meet the Community's greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments up to 2030
Regulation (ec) no 443/2009 of the European parliament and of the Council setting emission performance standards for new passenger cars as part of the community's integrated approach to reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles.
Directive 2009/29/ec of the European parliament and of the Council amending directive 2003/87/ec so as to improve and extend the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme of the community.
COM (2008) 11
First assessment of national energy efficiency plans as required by Directive 2006/32/EC on energy end-use efficiency and energy services – Moving towards together on energy efficiency
COM (2011) 112 - A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050
With its "Roadmap for moving to a competitive low-carbon economy in 2050" the European Commission is looking beyond these 2020 objectives and setting out a plan to meet the long-term target of reducing domestic emissions by 80 to 95% by mid-century as agreed by European Heads of State and governments. It shows how the sectors responsible for Europe's emissions - power generation, industry, transport, buildings and construction, as well as agriculture - can make the transition to a low-carbon economy over the coming decades.
- COM(2005) 265 final. Green paper on energy efficiency or doing more with less. European Commission.
Action Plan for Energy Efficiency
Results of the review of the Community Strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from passenger cars and light-commercial vehicles.
COM(2010) 2020, Europe 2020: A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth
European Commission, 2010. Europe 2020: A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. COM(2010) 2020.
A resource-efficient Europe – Flagship initiative under the Europe 2020 Strategy
COM(2011) 144 Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system
PREPARING THE EUROPEAN TRANSPORT AREA FOR THE FUTURE
Decision No 406/2009/EC (Effort Sharing Decision)
Decision No 406/2009/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the effort of Member States to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to meet the Community’s greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments up to 2020
DIRECTIVE 2009/28/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC
DIRECTIVE 2009/30/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 23 April 2009 amending Directive 98/70/EC as regards the specification of petrol, diesel and gas-oil and introducing a mechanism to monitor and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and amending Council Directive 1999/32/EC as regards the specification of fuel used by inland waterway vessels and repealing Directive 93/12/EEC
Guidelines on financial incentives for clean and energy efficient vehicles
Commission staff working document
REGULATION (EC) No 661/2009
REGULATION (EC) No 661/2009 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL concerning type-approval requirements for the general safety of motor vehicles, their trailers and systems, components and separate technical units intended therefor
REGULATION (EU) No 510/2011
REGULATION (EU) No 510/2011 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL setting emission performance standards for new light commercial vehicles as part of the Union's integrated approach to reduce CO 2 emissions from light-duty vehicles
Key policy question
Is the total energy consumption from transport growing?
Methodology for indicator calculation
Energy statistics for transport are collected from Member States and collated by Eurostat. To assess whether the total energy from consumption from transport is growing, time series data for energy consumed was obtained from Eurostat. Data for various fuels was downloaded for ‘bunkers’ (sea), air (domestic and international), inland navigation, road transport and rail transport. Data for bunkers covers the quantities of fuel delivered to sea going vessels of all countries. Data for inland and coastal water is not included in bunkers (sea). Data for air covers quantities of fuel consumed in national and international air traffic. Energy consumed by electric and diesel trains is included within the rail data.
Since Eurostat data is being used to process statistics, the Eurostat methodology is to be referred to for data collection and specification (see Eurostat, ITF and UNECE, 2009).
Methodology for gap filling
No gap-filling is applied for this indicator.
EEA data references
- No datasets have been specified here.
External data references
Data sources in latest figures
Data trends within the individual countries are difficult to ascertain as energy consumption data often shows unexpected volatility from year to year. Energy consumption is calculated based on fuel sales, and reported on through a common questionnaire. In the field of energy statistics no specific data collection technique is imposed by Eurostat. It is the responsibility of National Authorities to collect the relevant basic energy data required for filling in the questionnaires and report them to Eurostat following the prescribed methodology.
Maritime transport (i.e. bunkers) covers fuels delivered to sea-going ships, except those navigating in coastal and inland waters. This category includes mainly international freight transport. Much of this fuel is tanked in countries such as the Netherlands that serve as international hubs. The energy consumption is allocated to countries based on the amount of fuel (energy) tanked in a specific country. This is not the most appropriate way of allocating consumption because it does not reflect how much is used in, or by shippers from that country.
Data on aviation covers quantities consumed in aircraft in national and international air traffic. However, there remains some uncertainty over how the energy consumed by international air traffic is attributable to member countries. For example, is there a 50/50 split between origin and destination or is the energy consumed attributed solely to the country of flight origin or destination.
Data sets uncertainty
National data varies significantly from country to country and depending on the fuel type and production/consumption sector. The most reliable data comes from the EU15 old Member States. However, data is lacking for oil pipelines for the majority of countries, making it less reliable. Occasionally, data used in older time-series may change due to revisions in the methodology used. Such changes have resulted in small alterations of a few percent.
For the EU-13 the data are generally much less reliable. Gaps are frequent, as are conspicuous jumps in consumption (e.g. doubling or more).
No uncertainty has been specified.
Short term work
Work specified here requires to be completed within 1 year from now.
Long term work
Work specified here will require more than 1 year (from now) to be completed.
Work descriptionFurther work could be undertaken to improve the methodology for the allocation of energy consumption from bunkers and aviation. In particular, for bunkers a more appropriate method for recording energy consumption may be to make sure that consumption is allocated to the appropriate member country transporting the freight and not the country providing the bunkers. Detailed information on biofuels by product (classified as ‘5545 Biofuels’, ‘5546 Bio gasoline’, ‘5547 Biodiesel’, ‘5548 Other Liquid Biofuels’) has been separated as of 2005. Currently fuel type products 5546, 5547 and 5548 are aggregated to make up 5545. For other years from 1990 to 2004 only the aggregated product 5545 is available, but in the future, analysis of bio energy produced by specific type could be analyzed.
No resource needs have been specified
Deadline2015/12/31 00:00:00 GMT+1
Responsibility and ownership
EEA Contact InfoCinzia Pastorello
Frequency of updates
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
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