Monday, October 6, 2014

Photo essay: wood stoves around the world

Heating with wood stoves is common in many countries around the globe, particularly in rural area where wood is plentiful.  Wood heating is also tied to poverty to a certain extent in most countries and can rapidly grow when fossil fuel prices spike.

We show typical wood heating stoves in 35 countries, though its impossible to capture a country's stove heating culture in a single photo.  Most countries where wood heating is popular have a wide range of stove technology, from older, obsolete stoves to modern, expensive models.  We focused on older stoves as they tend to be more common in most countries to show the widespread problem of stoves that emit higher amounts of particulate matter.  Most countries have no regulations that set particular matter standards for new stoves. The issue of public funding for change out programs is often not an option.

We compiled a separate photo essay of firewood collecting cultures around the globe that tell equally important stories about the benefits of using a free, local fuel as well as the problems it can cause.

A home in the United States
Many countries are neglecting the development of a generation of cleaner wood and pellet heating stove technology.  Wood stove technology is developing in many countries, as shown in some of the photos below. But the pace is far too slow to match the economic opportunity and environmental and benefits that wood offers, and the air quality dangers it can otherwise pose.

Over the last 10 years, we have seen populations turn to wood stoves in large numbers our of political and/or economic necessity. The political crisis in Ukraine is driving increasing reliance on old and new stoves; the banking crisis in the US and Europe contributed to a meltdown in Greece, leading to widespread unemployment and a nationwide resurgence in wood stove use; incentive structures in the U.K. have led to more wood stoves, instead of pellet stoves.

These photos show how this ancient fuel source persists in helping to affordably keep people warm.




Albania



Byurakan, Armenia


Australia


 Austria


Belarus


Bulgaria



Canada



Chile 



China 



Denmark



Ecuador 



France



Georgia (formerly USSR)



Germany



Greece



Hungary



India


Italy


Ireland


Japan



Korea 



Lithuania



New Zealand



Norway



South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast
(former USSR) 



Peru


Poland


Romania


 Russia



Slovakia


Syrian refugees (in Bulgaria)


Tajikistan



Tibet



Ukraine



United Kingdom




United States

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