Transport and energy use

Potter, Stephen (2013). Transport and energy use. In: Jean-Paul, Rodrique; Notteboom, Theo and Shaw, Jon eds. The Sage Handbook of Transport Studies. London: Sage.



This chapter reviews key energy challenges for transport, concluding that the strategic energy challenge is to achieve a low carbon transport future that also ensures adequate and secure supplies of energy. How this could be achieved is a major challenge. Currently there is a debate regarding the relative roles of supply-side technical measures to promote cleaner fuels and fuel economy as opposed to modal shift and other demand management measures. THowever, the key factors identified in this chapter suggest that a multi-level approach needs to be adopted to include actions that feed from the product level (new low carbon technologies) into the generation of new service and mobility models; these cannot succeed without a shift in the transport system’s institutional structures.

This last level is possibly the greater and most neglected challenge; both institutional and regulatory structures are needed that facilitate (rather than hinder) innovative service and mobility models and transport policy and professional skills/organisations that understand and value such approaches. Only with such a multi-level systems understanding resulting in effective action at all levels can sustainable transport be a realistic proposition.

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