World Clock

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bhutan and Kerosene Heaters

Not long ago, Bhutan was estimated to have one of the highest rates of fuel wood consumption in the world, at 1.27 tons per person per year, according to a 1991 Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Home heating is huge part of our cooking stoves. There are many versions of improved cooking stoves which have been implemented in different parts of the country. One of the most common one is the “Bukhari”.

Over the last few years a lot of urban Bhutanese have resorted to Kerosene room heaters from South Korea. It is a big trend in the country.

I was never too sure about the emissions, although doctors have claimed it to be very bad, but then what choices do people have? Wood is now expensive and difficult to get in urban areas unlike in villages, electric heaters are not good enough for the extreme cold with inefficient homes, coal is non-existent, so are gas heating or geothermal. Some countries do seem to have policies and regulations, we have none.

How bad is bad? and What would be the best possible alternatives?


  1. recently, i started reciding in thimphu...and i did visited many houses...wat i saw was that they either use gas cylinder heater or that odinary heater...and i dun think it emits pollution... i think it is fine to use that... i know that the electricity bill will be high but dun u think that bill will be going to our govt... the revenue is just generated...

  2. Tatu,
    Interesting observation. I am sure gas heaters are better than kerosene heaters and so does electric ones.
    But how many people can afford the gas heaters is the question.
    Electric is not efficient and you are right the revenue is generated. However, government will generate more if we sell it to India at a higher rate. Every unit saved in Bhutan is a unit sold to India at higher rate. Better for the government.

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