Firewood consumption and energy transition: A survey of sources, methods and explanations in Europe and North America

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jats:pThis article surveys current literature on historical wood fuel use in North America and Europe. It focuses in particular on the quality of national-level data, highlighting and examining the different methods employed by official bodies to collect this; and in turn, the different assumptions used by historians to use partial data in models to estimate overall consumption. Problematic differences are revealed, along with the likely over-estimation of commonly-used data on the United States in the nineteenth century. It is shown that generally aggregate firewood consumption did not decline in many countries until after World War Two, and remained significant especially in rural domestic uses. The article concludes with a discussion of drivers for different levels of consumption and transition to substitute fuels, highlighting the limitations of price data and the importance of local labour markets for understanding the propensity to use wood fuel or switch to alternatives</jats:p>

firewood, environment, labour, energy
Journal Title
Historia Agraria
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Historia Agraria
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