A few years ago, pellet stoves were a big deal on TreeHugger; we used to joke that based on stats, TreeHugger readers wanted green sex in a shipping container house warmed by a pellet stove. It turned out that the stoves were not without their share of problems; some were noisy, the prices of pellets varied all over the place, and as Collin noted, depending on your source of pellets, they were not all that green.
In Europe, pellet stoves are often used as the primary source of heat in places where it is not so cold that furnaces are required all winter. In North America, the same might apply as houses get better insulation and windows. Unfortunately, the pellet stoves in North America are almost all cutesy free-standing stoves designed to look like Grandma's old pot belly number in the country kitchen. In Europe, the stoves look good and are designed for small spaces.
This new Wanders Vidra design is only 10-1/2 inches deep, 33 inches wide and 40 inches high. It pumps out 6 kW of heat burning about three pounds of pellets per hour, at 90.5% efficiency. A slightly less efficient version pumps out 9 kW.
As houses get better insulation and windows, the need for all that ductwork to the perimeter becomes superfluous. Perhaps we will see more of this kind of thing. Found at Appliancist