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The effect of digitalization in the energy consumption of passenger transport: An analysis of future scenarios for Europe

The paper evaluates the effects on energy consumption of digitalization in transport. Digitalization needs a tailored policy support to avoid higher energy consumption.

By: , and Date: March 16, 2020 Topic: Green economy

Digital technologies have the potential to make the transport system more connected, intelligent, efficient, reliable and sustainable. That is, digital technologies could fundamentally transform how people
and goods are moved, with significant impacts on transport demand and on the related energy consumption and environmental impacts.

This article proposes a scenario analysis for the future of European
passenger transport, by evaluating the potential effects of digitalization on mobility demand, energy consumption and CO2 emissions under different assumptions.

The analysis illustrates that the penetration of digital technologies can lead to opposite effects with regard to both energy consumption and emissions. Two opposite scenarios are compared, to evaluate the effects of a “responsible” digitalization, in the direction of a sustainable mobility, against a “selfish” digitalization, where the final users maximize their utility. The likelihood of these two possible pathways is related to multiple drivers, including users’ behavior, economic conditions and transport and environmental policies.

Results show the variability range of the potential effects on energy consumption and CO2 emissions in Europe by 2030 and 2050, by considering digitalization trends including Mobility as a Service, Shared Mobility and Autonomous Vehicles. The variability of key parameters is evaluated in a dedicated sensitivity analysis, where the effects of electric vehicles, electricity generation mixes and vehicles’ efficiency improvements are assessed.

The article concludes that in order to fully exploit the advantages of digitalization, proper policies are needed to support an efficient and effective deployment of available technologies through an optimized and shared use of alternative transport options.

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Jul
5
12:30

Green public investment after COVID-19

How can the public sector meet the climate funding needs of the EU?

Speakers: Zsolt Darvas, Elena Flores, Louise Skouby and Laurent Zylberberg Topic: Macroeconomic policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
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Jul
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12:30

Shifting taxes in order to achieve green goals

How could shifting the tax burden from labour to pollution and resources help the EU reach its climate goals?

Speakers: Heather Grabbe, Femke Groothuis, Carola Maggiulli, Niclas Poitiers and Kinga Tchorzewska Topic: Green economy, Macroeconomic policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
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Policy Contribution

How can the European Union adapt to climate change?

A stronger adaptation governance framework would benefit adaptation efforts.

By: Klaas Lenaerts, Simone Tagliapietra and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Green economy Date: June 28, 2022
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A new European tool to deal with unjustified rising spreads

The European Central Bank needs a new tool to prevent the current rise in spreads, triggered by monetary policy tightening, from escalating into a new euro-area crisis.

By: Grégory Claeys and Maria Demertzis Topic: Banking and capital markets Date: June 20, 2022
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Policy Contribution

How to make the EU Energy Platform an effective emergency tool

The EU Platform could become an effective emergency tool to safeguard Europe’s security of gas supply in case of a sudden interruption of Russian gas flows, but policymakers need to address challenges to make it work.

By: Walter Boltz, Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, Thierry Deschuyteneer, Jean Pisani-Ferry, Leigh Hancher, François Lévêque, Ben McWilliams, Axel Ockenfels, Simone Tagliapietra and Georg Zachmann Topic: Green economy Date: June 16, 2022
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Europe’s Russian oil embargo: significant but not yet

The ban on most Russian oil significantly scales up the EU response to aggression against Ukraine, but the bloc should stand ready for retaliatory actions.

By: Ben McWilliams, Simone Tagliapietra and Georg Zachmann Topic: Green economy Date: June 1, 2022
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Podcast

Podcast

An embargo on (most) Russian oil

A timely reflection on the EU’s latest round of sanctions banning Russian oil imports.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Green economy Date: May 31, 2022
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External Publication

Economics of access to energy

This chapter discusses the key obstacles that have so far prevented 840 million people worldwide from gaining access to electricity.

By: Giacomo Falchetta and Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Green economy Date: May 30, 2022
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Blog Post

REPowerEU: will EU countries really make it work?

By acting together, the European Union can optimise its response to the energy crisis in all scenarios but each country will have to make concessions.

By: Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Green economy Date: May 18, 2022
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Blog Post

The EU needs transparent oil data and enhanced coordination

The EU lacks the coordination structure and transparent data necessary to most effectively navigate an embargo on Russian oil.

By: Agata Łoskot-Strachota, Ben McWilliams and Georg Zachmann Topic: Global economy and trade, Green economy Date: May 16, 2022
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Opinion

For Europe, an oil embargo is not the way to go

Even at this late hour, the European Union should consider taking a different path.

By: Simone Tagliapietra, Guntram B. Wolff and Georg Zachmann Topic: Global economy and trade Date: May 9, 2022
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External Publication

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