Energy Use in Transportation
Mobility is probably one of the most important boosters of economic development and of the progress of humanity in general. The interconnection of cultures, languages and economies allows the sharing of ideas, know-how, products, and financing. It is this connectivity which led to the rise of economies in North America and Europe in the nineteenth century. Railroad development put an end to the historical isolation of many populations and helped value differently large portions of underdeveloped territory.
With mobility comes wealth. The development of infrastructures is therefore essential to allow mobility to progress. One of the primary roles of governments across the world is to provide people with the means to better value their territory. Beyond infrastructure, cars, buses, trains, airplanes transport people from one place to another. Transportation usage is directly linked to the economic development, and transportation is an important energy consumer in the overall energy mix.
Transportation today corresponds to 28 % of total energy consumption, with more than 2000 Mtoe (© OECD/IEA, Explore 2014). The figure excludes air and marine bunkers (around 350 Mtoe in 2010; © OECD/IEA, Statistics 2015). Energy consumption in the transportation sector has grown by almost 50 % in 20 years; at the same time, the efficiency of engines and other devices has considerably increased (Fig. 2.24).
There are a multitude of usages in transportation. Road transportation is by far the most popular, accounting for 64 % of total transport in kilometer terms (© OECD/IEA, Transport 2009), and over 75 % of the associated energy consumption. Long-distance transportation represents between 10 and 20 % of the total
Fig. 2.24 Worldwide transportation consumption (© OECD/IEA, Explore 2014; © OECD/IEA, Statistics 2015; © OECD/IEA, WEO 2012) transportation in most countries, except in Asia (excluding China & India) and in Africa. The small share of long-distance transportation there, around 6 %, limits economic development. Not surprisingly, the type of transport used for longdistance travels also varies across regions. Air transportation is favored in OECD countries, while rail transport remains the primary mode in China and India.
Short and medium distances remain the primary type of travel, making up around 80 % of the total, and up to 94 % in Asia. In OECD countries, the use of private cars dominates. In the rest of the world, collective transportation is more developed, and in Asia two-wheeled transportation (bicycles, motorcycles) form an important share of the market (Fig. 2.25).
Total mobility is measured in kilometers. That in OECD countries (25 trillion kilometers) equaled the rest of the world in 2005. However, by 2050, mobility in OECD countries should rise up to 30 and 80 trillion kilometers elsewhere (# OECD/IEA, Transport 2009). This sharp increase in new economies is due to both the increase in the world population as well as the increase in mobility per individual.
Most of the world population increase comes from non-OECD countries (Geohive 2014) and therefore the increase of mobility in absolute value is first linked to this rise. The mobility by individual in OECD countries should slowly increase to 20,000 km/year/individual (against 17,000 km/year/individual today), while the mobility in the rest of the world should double from 5000 km/year/ individual to 10,000 km/year/individual (Fig. 2.26).
Consequently, there should be a significant increase in energy consumption in the sector. This consumption is set to increase by another 40 % within the next 20 years. Different sources converge towards this level of growth (© OECD/IEA 2012; Exxon Mobil 2016; Shell 2016). The growth will mainly be in Asia (including China and India), which should represent 75 % of the total growth of the sector (Fig. 2.27).
Fig. 2.25 Transportation usages (© OECD/IEA, Explore 2014; © OECD/IEA, Transport 2009)
Fig. 2.26 Mobility by individual (© OECD/IEA, Transport 2009)
Fig. 2.27 Evolution of transportation consumption (© OECD/IEA, Explore 2014; © OECD/ IEA, Transport 2009; © OECD/IEA, WEO 2012)
This sharp increase of mobility in non-OECD countries will be driven primarily by light road (cars, two-wheelers, etc.) and long-distance transportation (notably air transportation); they should each represent 40 % of the total growth. Asia is already the primary growth market for air transportation, and Africa should develop quickly in the years to come (Fig. 2.28).
In summary, the economic development associated with the interconnection between different regions of the world creates the conditions for a strong rise of mobility in new economies. Mobility will increase as people get more interconnected in the global economy. It is consequently expected to double in the coming decades, with the associated energy consumption to increase by 40 % by 2035.
Fig. 2.28 Evolution of transportation consumption per segment (© OECD/IEA, Explore 2014; © OECD/IEA, Transport 2009; © OECD/IEA, WEO 2012)