Transport final energy consumption by mode (TERM 001) - Assessment published Oct 2010
Transport (Primary topic)
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
- TERM 001
Key policy question: Is the total energy consumption from transport growing?
Transport energy consumption in the EEA member countries increased by 38 % between 1990 and 2007. Road transport, consuming around 72 % of transport energy consumption, is the largest consumer. While the energy consumed by rail has remained fairly constant, aviation is the fastest growing energy consumer, with an increase of 84 % between 1990 and 2007.
Transport final energy consumption by mode
Note: The total energy consumption in transport in Mtoe from 1990 onwards. Transport modes included are bunkers (sea), air transport (domestic and international), inland navigation, rail transport and road transport (split by passenger and freight).
Eurostat, Supply, transformation, consumption - all products, http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/energy/data/database
Eurostat, Supply, transformation, consumption - solid fuels, http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/energy/data/database
Eurostat, Supply, transformation, consumption - oil, http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/energy/data/database
Eurostat, Supply, transformation, consumption – gas, http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/energy/data/database
Eurostat, Supply, transformation, consumption – Electricity, http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/energy/data/database
Eurostat, Supply, transformation, consumption – renewable(biofuels), http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/energy/data/database
Transport energy consumption in EEA member countries has grown by 2 % per year during the 1990 - 2007 period, reaching 463 Mtoe (million tonnes oil equivalent) in 2007. EEA32 member countries witnessed an increase by 2.1 % annually. The largest growth is in the 12 new Member States at 3.3 % whereas the 15 old Member states saw growth of 2.2 % per year.
There have been improvements in energy efficiency, such as for passenger cars, where new vehicles have increased energy efficiency by 1.5 % per year since 1995, but they have fallen far short of offsetting the growth in transport demand. Moreover, the continuing increase in demand for more energy intensive road and air modes has also contributed to the increase. The growth in energy consumption in the transport sector is projected to continue at an average of 1% a year in the EU-27 from 2000 - 2030 if no further policy measures are taken. However, transport demand is projected to grow faster and therefore the energy intensity of transport is expected to decrease.
While the growth figures for the regions are roughly equal there are some noticeable variations. In the 15 old EU Member States transport energy consumption has grown steadily since 1990. However, many of the 12 new EU Member States have experienced a decline during some years. Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia have slightly lower transport energy consumption today than in 1990. Many of the new member states saw a decline in the early nineties reflecting the economic difficulties experienced in the transition to market economies and the general economic depression at that time.
The total transport energy consumption in the 12 new EU Member States is still lower than in the 15 old EU Member States. Road transport energy consumption has increased in both the old and new EU Member States. In fact, energy consumption from road transport has increased by 72 % from 1990 - 2007 in these 12 new states, with a 7 % increase between 2005 and 2007. The share of road transport is higher in the 12 new EU Member States, as a result of the small share of air and sea shipping in transport energy consumption.
Air transport shows the strongest growth in energy consumption of all modes over the last 16 years (84 % in EEA member countries), linked to the strong increase in demand. The low share of rail is partly due to a relatively small modal share, but also because in most situations rail transport is less energy-intensive than the main competitors.
Across the EEA member countries energy consumption in maritime transport (i.e. 'bunkers') has grown by 56% since 1990. Inland navigation includes water transport in coastal waters and on inland waterways and is only significant in countries with this transport mode is extensively used, e.g. Germany, France and Finland. The energy consumption from inland water transport remained more or less constant during the 1990s followed by a decline which is now reversing. However, energy consumption remains 17 % below the 1990 level in the EEA member countries, mainly due to the reduced importance of bulk industries, which dominates demand for inland shipping.
Besides the overall trend, there are considerable variations between countries, although road transport, in nearly all cases dominates energy consumption. Differences are mainly due to geographical and topographical constraints such as settlement and transport patterns.
Additional policies that reduce the demand for transport, encourage modal shift towards more environmentally-friendly modes, improve transport management and enhance vehicle's energy efficiency are required in order to meet targets set by the Kyoto protocol. Policies that focus only on the efficiency of vehicles will not be sufficient to overcome the dependency on road transport, as they may reduce the cost of transport movements, hence causing increased demand, via the so-called rebound effect.
Energy statistics (Eurostat)
provided by Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat)
More information about this indicator
See this indicator specification for more details.
Contacts and ownership
EEA Contact InfoCinzia Pastorello
EEA Management Plan2009 2.10.2 (note: EEA internal system)
Frequency of updates
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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