| ||Iceland, “the land of ice” is a small island state built on wild and almost desert land. Its 320.000 inhabitants who are descended from the Vikings now live in one of the richest countries in the world whereas 70 years ago, they were amongst Europe’s poorest people. Its GDP – measured by the purchasing power parity - is equivalent to the one of Sweden or of Belgium. Since its independence in 1944, the Republic of Iceland has successfully developed its fishing activity, which represents 40% of all the country’s exports but that percentage may go down due to overfishing. The island also enlarged the service sector and is in charge, thanks to an ambitious policy, of exploiting the energy from water, soil and volcanoes. The first experiences of domestic geothermal heating date back to the beginning of the 20th century. In 2010, hydraulic and geothermal energy represented 85,7% of primary energy consumed by Icelanders. More precisely, geothermal energy provides homes with heat and electricity whilst dams produce electricity that is mostly used for the electrometallurgy of aluminium and ferrosilicium.
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