Sustainable Transport: aviation, maritime and road

  Nordic Energy Research aims at taking an active part in the green transition by facilitating a joint approach to Nordic challenges, where sustainable transport is one of the focus…


Nordic Energy Research aims at taking an active part in the green transition by facilitating a joint approach to Nordic challenges, where sustainable transport is one of the focus areas. Through networking groups, research funding and dissemination of information, we facilitate the development of sustainable transport systems and technologies in the Nordic region.

The transport sector requires the largest emissions reductions for the Nordics to achieve carbon neutrality. It is also considered one of the most difficult sectors to decarbonise.  This will require a combination of new technologies, policies, as well as a shift in the modes of transport used.

Figure showing the decoupling of emissions from transport that will be necessary for the Nordics to reach the ‘Carbon Neutral Scenario’ as defined in Nordic Energy Technology Perspectives 2016

The state of renewable transport in the Nordics

During the last 10 years there has been good progress made towards decarbonising light road transport. New passenger electric vehicle (EV) registrations are increasing each year in the Nordic region, accounting for 16% of new passenger sales in 2019. Norway has the highest share of EVs in the world. In 2019, battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids accounted for 56% of the total sales of passenger cars in the country.

Freight-related energy consumption is responsible for 43% of the transport sector’s energy demand and has proved more challenging to decarbonise than passenger transport. Maritime transport (19% of total transport energy demand) and heavy road transport (18%) are the two most important energy end-uses to focus on.

Nordic Energy Research’s activities on renewable transport can be divided into different thematic areas:

Land transport:

  • Nordic Power to X (P2X) for Sustainable Road Transport – The aim of Nordic P2X for Sustainable Road Transport is to assess the potential for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from road transport within the Nordics by the use of electrofuels.
  • Nordic EV Summit – The Nordic EV Summit is a yearly event organised by The Norwegian EV Association, Teknisk Ukeblad, SAMS Norway and Nordic Energy Research.  It is the largest gathering of its kind in the Nordics.

Maritime Transport:

  • Nordic Maritime Transport and Energy Research Programme – focuses on maritime topics of common interest for all Nordic countries and on producing knowledge that will complement, rather than duplicate, national R&D programmes.  The intention of this research programme is to create outcomes and impact of greater value for the countries involved than could be achieved through national activities alone.
  • Navigating towards Cleaner Maritime Shipping (upcoming)


Nordic Energy Research began its work in the area with the launch of the “Sustainable Jet fuel for aviation” report in Oslo, 2016.  The aim of the report was asses to what extent the use of advanced sustainable jet fuel may contribute to GHG reduction and mitigation, and to identify the extent of the commercial potential for initiating and scaling up advanced sustainable jet fuel production at a Nordic level. In 2020 we published a follow-up report that can be downloaded here.


Nordic Energy Research also financed SHIFT (Sustainable Horizons in Future Transport) one of three flagship projects that concluded in 2019.  Findings from the project can viewed on the SHIFT webpage.

Learn about the results from the three flagship projects.

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