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Indicator 11.2.a: Final energy consumption in goods transport

(Evaluation of the year 2018 as reporting year from indicator report 2021)

Selection

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This overview includes additional information on the indicators presented above, such as a brief definition of the indicator and a description of the politically determined target value, as well as the political intention for selecting the indicator.

Definition of indicators (Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy)

Final energy consumption in goods transport represents the energy consumption for the transport of goods within Germany via inland waterways, by rail and by road.

Target and intention of the German Government (Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy)

Transport creates a range of problems. For instance, noise and air pollution impair quality of life, especially in cities, and traffic-related emissions contribute to climate change. The emission of harmful greenhouse gases is closely linked to the energy consumed for transport purposes.

The aim is to reduce final energy consumption in goods transport by 15 to 20% by 2030.

Data state

The data published in the indicator report 2021 is as of 31.12.2020. The data shown on the DNS-Online-Platform is updated regularly, so that more current data may be available online than published in the indicator report 2021.

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Last modification of code (text) 2021-09-10: see changes on GitHub opens in a new window

Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy

The data regarding domestic final energy consumption originates from the TREMOD (Transport Emissions Estimation Model) database at the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. TREMOD is a model for evaluating transport emissions. The data record fuel consumption within Germany irrespective of where refuelling takes place. “Final energy” refers to that part of the total energy used that is directly consumed in transport. It does not cover the conversion losses that arise during the production of fuels or any pipeline losses that may occur.

TREMOD also supplies the goods transport volumes which are used to calculate the specific energy consumption of this sector. Air freight transport is not included, as it accounts for negligibly small volumes.

By definition, the indicator for final energy consumption in goods transport refers to consumption within Germany. It gives only an inadequate reflection of the German economy’s increasingly complex international ties in a globalised world. As a result, transport flows and the associated energy consumption that arises due to German exports and imports are not included.

The energy-consumption data presented here is supplemented by energy efficiency, or energy consumed per tonne-kilometre. The number of tonne-kilometres provides information about the extent to which transport intensity or the distance per transported tonne changes.

Contrary to the German Government’s target, final energy consumption for the carriage of goods was 6.2% higher in 2018 compared with 2005. Goods thereby accounted for almost 30% of total final energy consumption in the transport sector. The sharp increase can be attributed primarily to freight transport by road. Final energy consumption in road goods transport increased by 7.8% during this period, while consumption for rail and inland shipping was significantly reduced (-5.3% and -26.7% respectively).

During the same period, goods transport volumes increased by 22.0%. In conjunction with comparable energy consumption in 2005 and 2018, this means a significant increase in efficiency of 13.0% during that time.

During the economic crisis of 2009, price-adjusted gross value added in the manufacturing industry suffered a particularly sharp decline of just under 20%. This heavy loss particularly affected the transport sector, which reacts directly to increases and falls in the production of goods. The resultant decrease in the utilisation of transport capacity explains why average energy consumption per tonne-kilometre rose slightly despite the sharp fall in overall energy consumption in absolute terms during the crisis years.

Besides the more short-term consequences of the economic crisis of 2009, a number of long-term ramifications also affected the development of final energy consumption in goods transport during the 2005 to 2018 review period. For instance, there was a decrease in the average number of manufacturing steps a company performs, something that is normally associated with greater transport volumes because companies procure more intermediate goods from domestic and international suppliers. Furthermore, the average distance between where goods are manufactured and where they are used increased, which also caused transport volumes to rise. These effects are countered by a shift towards a less material-intensive pattern of demand (e.g. increasing demand for services). The resulting change in the composition of goods volumes dampened the increase in transport-related energy consumption.

This summary table illustrates the evaluations of the indicator by status of previous years. This shows whether the weather symbol for an indicator has been stable or rather volatile in the past years. (Evaluations from the indicator report 2021)

Indicator

11.2.a Final energy consumption in goods transport

Target

Reduction by 15–20% by 2030

Year

2015

2016

2017

2018

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Source 1

 Federal Statistical Office

Organisation

Federal Statistical Office

Source 2

 Institute for Energy and Environmental Research

Organisation

Institute for Energy and Environmental Research