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Energy consumption by the transport sector
In 2013, the energy consumption in the (public and private) transport sector of the Brussels-Capital Region represents more than a fifth of the Region’s final consumption (22.3%). It is predominantly assumed by road passenger transportation. Since 2007, road distances covered by motor vehicles in the Region have remained stable (and have even dropped slightly).
Mobility problems continue to grow. Transport does not only have a considerable impact on traffic problems, but also on energy balances (Regions, Federal, European), which is why a slightly more detailed analysis is appropriate.
Balance of the transport-related energy consumption
The estimated consumption of energy in the transport sector (public and private; road, rail and waterways) in the Brussels-Capital Region has increased significantly since 1990, and currently represents more than one fifth of the final Brussels consumption (5,033 GWh, or 22.3% of the total in 2013).
This consumption is primarily attributable to road transport (public and especially private), which represented (in 2013) almost 94% (4,711.8 GWh) of the sector's total consumption.
Distances covered on the road and fuel prices
A comparison between the distances covered on the road in the Brussels-Capital Region and the prices of petrol and diesel is instructive as well.
Distances covered by motor vehicles on the roads within the Brussels-Capital Region and evolution of the fuel prices at the pump
Source: Statbel (according to the FPS Mobility and Transportation, and since 2013 according to regional datasets only concerning the distances covered)
A stabilising of the road distances driven by motor vehicles in the Brussels-Capital Region has actually been observed since 2002, with a slight decrease since 2007, whereas the cost of petrol and diesel increased in 2000, and then again from 2004 (even though the population and employment continued to grow).
Therefore the evolution of the fuel prices could be one of the explanatory factors for the stabilising vehicles-kilometres.
Admittedly, there are also other explanatory elements, such as the saturation of the road network in Brussels, the enhanced performances of vehicle stock, a rationalisation of travel arrangements and the gradual transition of road transport to alternative modes of transport: increased use of public transport (which can transport more passengers over the same travel distance), bicycle, transport by train or by boat (for goods), ...
Other publications from Brussels Environment
Bilan énergétique 2013 : Bilans de l'industrie et du secteur tertiaire et bilan global (Energy balance of the BCR 2013 : balances for the industry and tertiary sectors + global, .pdf, in French and Dutch only)