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The leading renewable energy capital in the world
Reykjavik, Iceland, has pioneered the use of geothermal power for citywide district heating. Reykjavik meets nearly 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. A few large geothermal power plants provide most of the Reykjavik area population's and buildings' heating and hot water needs. For Reykjavik's buildings, 95% of heating is provided by geothermal district heating.
Iceland's renewable energy production has nearly made the country energy independent with respect to heating and electricity generation. Geothermal energy and hydroelectricity already run Reykjavik's economy, but the government states that both energy sources have much more productive capacity to tap into. Reykjavik's Municipal Plan focuses on:
- renewable energy,
- energy efficiency,
- green building,
- district heating,
- densifying Reykjavík’s urban environment,
- developing sustainable public transit systems,
- reducing pollution, and
- preserving green spaces.
Roughly 9 out of 10 residents of Reykjavik already live a five-minute walk away from a public green space.
Reykjavik is a global center for renewable energy research; as universities, government departments, as well as private and public companies, all contribute. Government-sponsored programs help fund new renewable energy projects in Reykjavik; and additionally, private initiatives like The GREEN Program and Iceland School of Energy at Reykjavik University, provide research, development, and education of renewable energy technologies, and sustainable city practices. Reykjavik has become the first major world city to be completely reliant on renewable energy alone. Other cities that are trying to go 100% renewable (100RE) by 2050 include - Copenhagen, which bids to be a 100% carbon neutral capital, Oslo, Vancouver, Freiburg, Vaxjo, and over 100 cities throughout the world that are either at, near, or trying to become 100RE cities. Reykjavik aims to be completely fossil fuel free by 2050.
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