Energy and carbon intensity from transport

The "Energy and carbon intensity from transport" fact sheet examines the energy intensity in the transport sector, as well as the corresponding share of renewable energy used. It also presents the values of greenhouse gas emissions from transport.

In Portugal, transport represents a major proportion of the final energy consumption, and road transport is the major responsible. It is also noted that land transport is the main responsible for the consumption of petroleum products for energetic purposes, contributing in a decisive way to the country's external energy dependence.

To reduce this dependence on external sources, it is important to reduce, at the national level, the use of road vehicles by fostering the use of both public transport and soft mobility, in order to increase the sector's energy efficiency. But it is also important to promote the adoption of more efficient vehicles and the use of alternative fuels with better environmental performance. In this context, electric vehicles are highlighted.

As a result of the type of energy used, the transport sector is also responsible for a large share of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, exerting strong pressures on the environment and human well-being.

This fact sheet concerns mainland Portugal and the Autonomous Regions of Madeira and Azores and shall be updated on an annual basis.

Objectives and targets: 
Progress analysis:

In the context of changes in mobility and consumption resulting from the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, the year 2020 was marked by a clear reduction in energy consumption. The consumption of primary energy, 20,791 ktoe, decreased by 7.5% compared to 2019, returning to values similar to those of 1996. The final energy consumption, 15,446 ktoe, had a decrease of 7.2% compared to 2019.

In this context, and according to provisional data for 2020, the transport sector continues to be the activity sector with the highest energy consumption: 32.6% of final consumption, followed by the industry sector (28.8%), the domestic sector (19.5%), the services sector (13.4%), the agriculture and fisheries sector (3.3%), and the construction and public works sector (2.3%) .

The transport sector remains highly dependent on oil-based fuels, and is particularly vulnerable to fluctuations in international prices. Also according to provisional data for 2020, 73.6% of the final consumption of petroleum products occurred in the transport sector. In that year, diesel consumption in this sector was 3,861 ktoe, representing 85.5% of the total consumption of this petroleum product, and gasoline consumption was approximately 928 ktoe (99.8% of total gasoline consumption).

In terms of energy consumption, the sector most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic was aviation, which registered a drop of 62.5% compared to the previous year. The energy consumption of road transport suffered a reduction of 15.3% compared to 2019.

In 2020, the consumption of oil and derivatives in transport was 5 million tonnes of oil equivalent (toe), which represents a reduction of 16.4% compared to 2019 (in 2019 it had increased by 2.3% compared to 2018). In road transport, diesel consumption decreased by 14.8%, gasoline consumption by 16.9% and LPG Auto by 24.6%.

The data presented establishes a high dependence on fossil fuels. Efforts to reduce this dependence will have the beneficial effect of significantly reducing emissions of air pollutants, namely, greenhouse gas emissions, a strategic objective inscribed in several policy instruments currently in force, in particular the National Energy and Climate Plan for 2030 and the Roadmap for Carbon Neutrality 2050.

Last update: 
Tuesday, 16 November, 2021