Energy Blue Print
Key results - EU-27

Moving from principles to action for energy supply that mitigates against climate change requires a long-term perspective. Energy infrastructure takes time to build up; new energy technologies take time to develop. Policy shifts often also need many years to take effect. In most world regions the transformation from fossil to renewable energies will require additional investment and higher supply costs over about twenty years

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Sustainable transport is needed to reduce the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, just as much as a shift to renewable electricity and heat production. Today, more than a quarter (27%) of energy use comes from the transport sector, including road and rail, as well as intra-European and domestic aviation and shipping. This chapter provides an overview of the measures required to develop a more energy efficient and sustainable transport system in the future, with a focus on:

  • reducing transport demand,
  • shifting transport modes (from high to low energy intensity), and
  • energy efficiency improvements through technology development.

This section provides the assumptions for the EU 27 transport sector energy demand calculations used in the Reference and the Energy [R]evolution scenarios including projections for the passenger vehicle market (light-duty vehicles). But, some technologies will have to be adapted for greater energy efficiency. In other situations, a simple modification will not be enough. The transport of people in urban areas will have to be almost entirely re-organised and individual transport must be complemented or even substituted by public transport systems. Car sharing and public transport on demand are only the beginning of the transition needed for a system that carries more people more quickly and conveniently to their destination while using less energy. The Energy [R]evolution scenario is based on an analysis by the German DLR Institute of Vehicle Concepts of the entire global transport sector. This report outlines the key findings of the analysis’ calculations for the EU 27.

9.1 the future of the transport sector


A detailed Reference scenario has been constructed, which includes detailed shares and energy intensity data per mode of transport up to 2050. Based on this Reference scenario, deviating transport performance and technical parameters have been applied to create the ambitious Energy [R]evolution scenario for reducing energy consumption. Traffic performance is assumed to decline for the high energy intensity modes and further energy reduction potentials were assumed to come from efficiency gains, alternative power trains and fuels.

International shipping and intercontinental air transport have been left out whilst calculating the baseline figures, because it spreads across all regions of the world and is difficult to assign to the EU 27. The total is therefore made up of light-duty vehicles (LDVs), heavy and medium-duty trucks (HDV and MDV), rail, domestic and intra-EU air transport and inland water transport. Although energy use from international marine bunkers (international shipping fuel suppliers) is not included in these calculations, it is still estimated to account for 9% of today’s worldwide transport final energy demand and 7% by 2050. It is therefore very important to improve the energy efficiency of international shipping. Possible options are examined later in this chapter.

The definitions of the transport modes for the scenarios58 are:


  • Light-duty vehicles (LDV) are four-wheel vehicles used primarily for personal passenger road travel. These are typically cars, sports utility vehicles (SUVs), small passenger vans (up to eight seats) and personal pickup trucks. Light-duty vehicles are also simply called ‘cars’ within this chapter.
  • Medium-duty vehicles (MDV) include medium-haul trucks, light-duty trucks and delivery vehicles.
  • Heavy-duty vehicles (HDV) are long-haul trucks operating almost exclusively on diesel fuel. These trucks carry large loads with lower energy intensity (energy use per tonne-kilometre of haulage) than medium-duty trucks.
  • Aviation denotes domestic and intra-European 27 air travel.
  • Inland navigation denotes freight shipping with vessels operating on rivers and canals or in coastal areas for domestic transport purposes.