23 Feb 24

Less than 10% of energy for transport comes from renewables 

Fleet managers are constantly seeking ways to optimise efficiency and reduce environmental impact. Electrifying the fleet is just one piece of the puzzle. 

According to Eurostat, over 90% of the energy used in transportation does not come from renewables. The true power for fleets lies in Europe's renewable energy landscape. 

The EU wants to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. It has a long way to go. 2022 renewable energy consumption rose by only a fraction, from 21.9% in 2021 to 23.0%. 

Renewable energy sources in Europe include wind, solar, hydro, tidal power, geothermal energy, heat pumps, biofuels, and renewable waste.  

Although not a member of the European Union, Norway leads the way, with 75% of its energy coming from renewable generation. Sweden leads the way in the EU, with 66% of all the energy used in the country coming from renewable sources. The UK lags at just over 35%. Sweden relies primarily on hydro, wind, biofuels and heat pumps. At 47.9%, Finland generates most of its renewable energy through hydro, wind and biofuels. Latvia (in third place at 43.3%) depends mostly on hydro. Denmark and Estonia (41.6% and 38.5%) rely on wind and biofuels. The slow runners are currently Ireland (13.1%), Malta (13.4%), Belgium (13.8%), and Luxembourg (14.4%). 

9.6% of renewable energy used in transport activities in 2022

A mere 9.6% of the energy used in transport comes from renewables across the EU. In Sweden, 29.2% of the energy used in transport comes from renewables. Finland is at 18.8%, but Croatia, Latvia and Greece are all below 5%. Norway is at 23.7%, and (according to the BEIS) the UK is at 7%. 

Investment in Renewable Energy for transport

France allocated €5 billion to an electric vehicle charging infrastructure, aiming for 100,000 rapid chargers by 2028. However, as France’s share of energy from renewables lags at around 20%, there’s no guarantee those chargers will be fuelled by green electricity. 

Germany has invested €6 billion in a hydrogen strategy to promote green hydrogen production and infrastructure.

The UK invested £54 million into battery energy storage projects at electricity grid substations to improve charging capacity for electric vehicles. 

Orsted and Green Fuels for Denmark invested €3.5 billion to build Europe’s largest renewable methanol production facility for maritime and heavy-duty transport. BP and Volvo Truck have sunk €1.6 billion into a joint venture establishing an electric truck charging infrastructure across Europe. 

It's important to remember that investment alone doesn't guarantee success.  Effective policies, regulations, and consumer adoption are crucial for accelerating the transition to clean transportation in Europe and beyond.

Read more on our E-Book From hydrogen to EV

Image: shutterstock-81952942 Alphaspirit.it

Authored by: Alison Pittaway