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U.S. Residential Demand for Wood

A recent nationwide survey estimated that approximately 20 million households in the United States use wood as a source of heating fuel and that about 30 percent of those use wood as their primary source of space heat.' In two studies of total wood energy consumption, the U.S. Department of Energy suggests that residential wood energy use declined from the turn of the century to the mid-1970s but increased by more than 130 percent from 1973 to 1980 and by another 8 percent from 1980 to 1983.2 These studies report that by 1983 wood provided about 9.6 percent of residential end-use energy consumption and approximately 14 percent of total household heating fuel consumption. Moreover, residential wood energy use is expected to continue to increase. The Office of Technology Assessment has projected a tripling of fuelwood use between 1979 and 2000 under a business as usual scenerio and almost a sevenfold increase with "vigorous support and high energy prices."

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Energy Specializations: Renewables – Biofuels ; Renewables – Other

JEL Codes:
Q16 - Agricultural R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
Q29 - Renewable Resources and Conservation: Other

Keywords: Wood fuel, Residential energy demand, US, Household heating

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol7-No3-11

Published in Volume 7, Number 3 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.