Natural resources

Iceland has three main natural resources that represent both traditional and growing sectors of its economy.


Iceland is surrounded by some of the richest and most prolific fishing grounds in the North Atlantic Ocean and fisheries have long been the mainstay of the Icelandic economy. The country even fought three “cod wars” with Great Britain over the issue of fishing limits. The country now has an exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles. Fish is responsible for 40% of the countries export revenues, and employs 7% of the workforce. 

For centuries, these fishing grounds have provided a near-inexhaustible resource to the Icelanders. In order to ensure they will continue to do so, great care is taken to ensure responsible fisheries with a strong focus on sustainability of fish stocks and care for the marine ecosystem. For information about Fisheries in Iceland, visit

Renewable Energy

Iceland has extensive resources of hydroelectric power and geothermal energy. It is uniquee in that it produces nearly all its electricity from emission-free, sustainable natural resources.

Iceland is a world leader in the use of renewable energy. While many cities struggle with soaring energy costs and the burdens of pollution, due to a reliance on limited energy supplies like oil or coal, nearly 90% of homes in Iceland are heated with geothermal water. 

Geothermal steam has been used directly for a number of industrial processing applications in Iceland for decades, such as vegetable farming in greenhouses. It has also been developed for electricity generation on a small but growing scale. Natural conditions in Iceland favour the use of hydropower for the generation of electricity. 


Icelandic water is pure, and plentiful. Visitors to the country have no need to purchase bottled water, as the tap water, which has not been treated with large amounts of chemicals like fluoride, is as fresh as anything available off the shelf.

Iceland has a growing industry of exporting bottled water to the premium bottled water market. With no additives or strong mineral flavour, Icelandic water is becoming increasingly popular around the world.

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