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About this book

Energy systems are rapidly transitioning towards decarbonization, thanks in part to innovative digital technologies and changing mobility demands. This open access book examines the decarbonization and digitalization transformation in the transport sector, with a particular focus on energy consumption. By studying historical trends and outlining future scenarios, the authors illustrate the evolution of energy consumption in the transport sector, compare alternative decarbonization strategies, and analyze digitalization trends and their effects on energy consumption. The book addresses a broad readership of both academics and professionals working in the energy and transport industries, as well as readers interested in the ongoing debate over energy, mobility and climate change.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Open Access

Chapter 1. The Evolution of Transport Across World Regions

Abstract
This chapter aims at providing an overview of the multiple aspects involved in passenger and freight transport, which are the base for the understanding of the energy consumption of the sector, as well as for the current trends and prospects related to digitalization and decarbonization. A brief historical discussion and some trends will be presented, followed by a description of the main modes and technologies, both for passenger and freight transport, and a final focus on the differences across world regions in mobility patterns and behaviors. The evolution of transport systems has led to very different situations worldwide, depending on different strategies related to economic development, geographical limitations and cultural, political and social aspects. Proper sustainable mobility plans need to be based on the specific characteristics of each location, and the integration between different governance levels is of utmost importance to improve the reliability, affordability, and energy performance on the entire transport system.
Michel Noussan, Manfred Hafner, Simone Tagliapietra

Open Access

Chapter 2. Decarbonization Solutions

Abstract
This chapter will be devoted to a description of the alternative decarbonization pathways that may help to decrease the dependency from fossil fuels in transport, which is currently the sector most strongly dependent on oil. Electricity, hydrogen, and biofuels are the main alternative sources for transport systems, and they will be analyzed and compared by considering the state of the art of the technologies of each pathway and the potential future development. Each transport segment and each mode have specific features, resulting in the need to evaluate dedicated applications based on the technical and economic conditions of each technological solution. Moreover, variable conditions across world regions may impact the sustainability of each pathway, particularly in relation to the current and expected power generation mix that varies from a country to another. Opportunities and challenges will be discussed to provide to the readers a clear vision on the strengths and weaknesses of each solution.
Michel Noussan, Manfred Hafner, Simone Tagliapietra

Open Access

Chapter 3. Digitalization Trends

Abstract
In parallel with the policy-driven decarbonization trend discussed in Chap. 2, the transport sector is currently affected by a bottom-up strong technological push by digital technologies at different maturity levels. Potential game changers include Mobility-as-a-Service, shared mobility, autonomous vehicles, and other effects of extra-sector digital technologies (e.g., online platforms, virtualization, e-commerce). This chapter will be dedicated to discussing the possible impact of these technologies in the transport sector, with a focus on the urban context, which is the first being affected by these changes.
Michel Noussan, Manfred Hafner, Simone Tagliapietra

Open Access

Chapter 4. Policies to Decarbonize the Transport Sector

Abstract
This chapter presents a range of policies that support an effective decarbonization of the transport sector, considering both the measures that favor a reduction and/or a modal shift of transport demand, and those that promote the spread of cleaner vehicles. The chapter also provide examples of best practices, i.e., cases in which local, national, or international authorities have attempted and been able to successfully implement these measures. Following analysis of individual policies, the chapter will look to take a more holistic approach to policy implementation. In this context, it will illustrate the governance levels that involve each singular policy, the taxation issue, potentially emerging risks, and the distributional effects deriving from the implementation of these policies.
Michel Noussan, Manfred Hafner, Simone Tagliapietra
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