green city: Reykjavik (renewable energy mecca)

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Reykjavik, Iceland

Renewable Energy - geothermal & hydroelectricity   

Reykjavik, Iceland, has pioneered the use of geothermal power. Almost 95% of heating in the city is provided by geothermal district heating. Reykjavik meets virtually all of its electricity and heating needs from renewable resources (predominately from geothermal and hydroelectric sources). On a per capita basis, Iceland is ahead of any other nation in geothermal generating capacity. 

Geothermal and hydroelectric already run the city's economy, but the government states that both energy sources have much more productive capacity to tap into. Iceland's renewable energy production has nearly made the country energy independent with respect to heating and electricity generation. No other city has developed a district heating and electrical system using renewable energy resources on the scale of Reykjavik. Iceland also has a world-renowned scientific community in the field of renewable energy R&D.

Reykjavik's Municipal Plan focuses on densifying Reykjavík’s urban structure, developing public transportation systems, reducing pollution and preserving green spaces. Roughly nine out of 10 inhabitants live a five-minute walk away from a public green space in Reykjavik.


Reykjavik is a global center for renewable energy research, as universities, government departments, public and private companies all contribute. Government sponsored programs help fund new renewable energy projects. It trying to become the first city to be completely reliant on renewable energy alone (the other cities that might go 100% renewble in 2050 are - Copenhagen, which bids to be a 100 percent carbon neutral capital, and Vaxjo). Reykjavik aims to be completely fossil fuel free by 2050.

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Geothermal district heating in Iceland

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