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Identifying policy areas for the transition of the transportation sector

Hainsch, Karlo

Being the only energy sector where emissions are still at 1990 levels, the German transportation sector requires rapid decarbonization to achieve ambitious climate targets. Policy makers need to put the framework in place which enables and supports this transition. This work analyzes which policy areas should be targeted considering interactions with and implications for the entire energy system. The Global Energy System Model (GENeSYS-MOD) is used to compute 400 sensitivities which showcase the effectiveness of specific transport and energy system related policies. Shifting transportation demand to less energy and emission intensive modes or avoiding it in the first place shows the strongest effect on a number of key metrics. Primary energy consumption, emissions, and fleet size can all be reduced through a combination of electrification and shift towards public transport and long-distance trains. Carbon prices also showcase significant effects while further affecting the other energy sectors. The results suggest that in the intermediate term, modal shift and demand reduction can help with reducing transportation related emissions, while carbon prices are effective after 2040.
Published in: Energy Policy, 10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113591, Elsevier