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DNV Warns of Transport Sector’s Increased Share of Emissions Despite Electrification

Image courtesy DNV GL

DNV Warns of Transport Sector’s Increased Share of Emissions Despite Electrification

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 662
May 8, 2023

The transport sector will undergo a revolution with the widespread adoption of electrification, but it will also increase its share of overall emissions, warns the classification society DNV in its latest report.

The report, titled Transport in Transition, reveals that despite the rapid growth of electrification in the transport sector, which is set to rise from 1% today to 23% in 2050, a large part of the transport system will remain fossil fuel dependent.

As a result, the transport sector’s share of overall emissions will grow from 25% today to 30% by 2050.

Currently, the transport of passengers and goods accounts for about a quarter of global energy-related CO2 emissions, a share that will grow to 30% by 2050, according to DNV. The report highlights the urgent need for reliable non-fossil fuels to support emission reductions, particularly in the hard to abate maritime and aviation sectors, where oil has staying power. Strong policies are also needed to ensure necessary decarbonization to hydrogen and sustainable biofuel, DNV says.

Looking specifically at the maritime sector, its energy mix is expected to comprise 50% low- and zero-carbon fuels by 2050, according to DNV.

The report draws on DNV’s system dynamics-based Energy Transition Outlook model and explores the vast changes in fuels, electricity, and infrastructure needed to transport ever-larger numbers of people and volumes of freight while at the same time decarbonizing the sector. Road transport leads the way in reducing reliance on fossil fuels, falling from 38 million barrels per day (bpd) today to 19 million bpd in 2050, reducing the share from 91% to 57%. Conversely, the consumption of oil within aviation will be virtually flat to 2050, with hydrocarbons set to have a 60% share in the sector in the same year.

DNV says that despite oil demand in the transport sector forecast to half by 2050, the present pace of the transition will well-short of Paris Agreement targets.

DNV’s Group President and CEO, Remi Eriksen, emphasized the pressing need for reliable non-fossil fuels to support emission reductions, particularly in the maritime and aviation sectors. “There is a pressing need for policy makers to accelerate efforts to incentivize research and development, pilot projects, and commercial uptake of carbon-neutral and zero-carbon fuels across the transport sector to support mid-century net zero goals,” he said.

The report underlines the challenge in deriving a single solution for the decarbonization of transport, with a variety of energy sources needed to tackle the challenge in each sector. Encouragingly, as the aviation sector strives to support decarbonization efforts, the results highlight that biofuels are set to supply a quarter of aviation demand by 2050. However, the report emphasizes the importance of governmental and industry support to manage the rise in advanced biofuels for aviation and maritime, with the sustainable fuel expected to be more expensive than fossil fuel counterparts.

DNV’s report highlights the challenges facing the transport industry and where further policies and investments are urgently needed to fast-track decarbonization of the transport sector. As transport accounts for a significant portion of global emissions, it is essential that policy makers accelerate efforts to incentivize research and development, pilot projects, and commercial uptake of carbon-neutral and zero-carbon fuels across the transport sector to support mid-century net zero goals.

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