- February 1, 2016: Vol. 9, Number 2

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Iceland, the happiest and greenest of them all: How the tiny island country went from last to first and what the world can learn from it

by Salika Khizer

Iceland is noteworthy for many reasons — its beautiful scenery, geysers, the Blue Lagoon, and according to the nonprofit Institute for Economics and Peace, for being the most peaceful country in the world. Given these credentials, maybe it’s not so surprising that, according to the third World Happiness Report by the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Iceland also is the second happiest place in the world.

When I think of Iceland, what comes to mind is that the country is one the world’s greenest nations when it comes to energy production. Iceland’s electric power is generated by hydropower and geothermal energy, and about 95 percent of the nation’s heating demand is warmed by geothermal means, which includes residential, commercial, governmental and industrial buildings. The country is the greatest green energy producer per capita in the world. Even the Blue Lagoon, which is a man-made spa, is powered by a nearby geothermal power plant.


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