Device Packaging 2019

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Transportation Energy Consumption, No Easy Answer
Keywords: Energy, Efficiency, Transportation
Information technology is shrinking our planet as population grows. More people want to enjoy more places and things. These factors continue to drive substantial increases in passenger miles and freight ton-miles, and subsequently the consumption of transportation fuels. The transportation sector is the largest consumer of petroleum and is second only to stationary power generation in consumption of all fossil fuels. Transportation also contributes more than its “fair share” to CO2 loading of our atmosphere. Will new and more efficient technologies emerge? Will shifts to more efficient modes of transportation be needed? Will transportation of people and goods become more, or less convenient? Can free-ranging transportation (private vehicles) be sustained? Though the answers are not easy, and in many cases not even apparent, analysis of the transportation sector’s energy use “course and speed” is the first step toward a sustainable transportation energy future. This paper discusses trends in transportation energy uses from 1970 through today and continuing to 2050. It proposes several “endpoint technologies” that could possibly emerge in response to trends in transportation demand and fuel consumption.
John W. Peeples, PhD, P.E.,
The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina
Charleston, SC
United States


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