Green transition

The green transition refers to the transition towards ecologically sustainable economy and growth that is not based on the overconsumption of natural resources and fossil fuels. Sustainable economy relies on low-carbon solutions that promote circular economy and biodiversity.

ELY Centres are tasked to streamline environmental procedures

Some ways that ELY Centres promote the green transition include streamlining the processing of green transition projects and advising companies on green transition projects.  Several green transition projects require environmental permits, water permits or alterations to city plans. Specialists at ELY Centres ensure that the environmental needs of green transition projects are identified early enough and ensure adequate communication between different authorities (e.g. the need for an environmental permit or an environmental impact assessment procedure).

In addition to streamlining procedures, the ELY Centre can also fund green transition projects. Support is available for various themes, such as companies’ growth, internationalisation and development.

The most common environmental administrative procedures in facility projects are planning, environmental impact assessment, environmental or water permits, permits related to chemical and process safety, and building permits. Make sure that your project progresses smoothly by contacting the authorities as early as possible. A well-prepared application speeds up processing. You can apply for different permits at the same time. The ELY Centre will advise you on the procedures.   The municipality is responsible for zoning (general plan and local detailed plan). Revising a local detailed plan and the related hearings will take at least several months. Especially in new investment projects requiring construction, it is essential to ensure that the zoning plan allows for the placement of the project. The ELY Centre carries out the needs assessment for the environmental impact assessment (EIA). The EIA procedure lasts about 9 to 18 months. Large-scale projects have to reserve enough time for the procedure. The Regional State Administrative Agency or the municipality is responsible for the environmental and water permit. The Regional State Administrative Agency’s goal for processing new operations’ permits is 10 months. Operations may not commence before obtaining a valid environmental permit or a permission to commence operations regardless of an appeal. TUKES or the rescue department is responsible for permits related to chemical and process safety. The municipality is responsible for building permits.

What are green transition projects?

Green transition projects are ones that contribute to ecologically sustainable economy and growth. These projects are based on low-carbon solutions that promote circular economy and biodiversity.  Green transition projects include

  • clean energy production, such as solar power, offshore wind, biogas and waste heat recovery
  • circular economy solutions for industry and low-emission innovations, such as investments in hydrogen technology and circular economy demonstration plants
  • the introduction of new technologies, services and operating models in the construction sector
  • supporting public charging infrastructure for electric transport
  • nature-based solutions, such as gypsum treatment of fields to reduce strain on the Baltic Sea.

Green transition projects prioritised in permit processing

Some green transition projects need an environmental permit. The Regional State Administrative Agencies have issued temporary priority to the processing of permits for green transition projects between 2023 and 2026. The priority procedure also applies to the processing of complaints related to permits for green transition projects in the Administrative Court between 2023 and 2028. The priority procedure has to be requested from the Regional State Administrative Agency. Green transition projects within the scope of the priority procedure include these types of projects:

  1. energy production plants producing renewable energy as well as offshore wind farms and related water management projects;
  2. industrial projects replacing the use of fossil fuels or raw materials based on renewable energy or electrification;
  3. the production and utilisation of hydrogen, except for the production of hydrogen from fossil fuels;
  4. carbon capture, recovery and storage;
  5. battery factories and the manufacture, recovery and reuse of battery materials.

RRF projects

Some green transition projects can receive RRF funding, in which case they are called RRF projects. The funding comes from the NextGenerationEU recovery instrument, which is divided into seven programmes, where the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) is the largest one. Funding has been granted by various parties, such as Business Finland (BF), the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (MEE) and the ELY Centre.

RRF specialists at ELY Centres provide advice to companies on environmental matters related to green transition projects and on how to apply for funding. For more information on ongoing funding applications, see the funding providers’ websites (links at the bottom of the page).

The ‘do no significant harm’ principle

Projects receiving RRF funding and eligible for priority processing are required to comply with the ‘do no significant harm’ (DNSH) principle. For example, the projects cannot have negative impacts on climate change mitigation, and they cannot slow down the transition to circular economy or reduce the protection of biodiversity. The DNSH assessment is carried out on a project-specific basis to ensure that the requirements of the DNSH principle are met.

Contact the ELY Centre already at the planning stage of a project

Contact the local ELY Centre for an assessment of the need for a permit and an EIA. Prepare a clear and concise description of the project to act as a basis for preliminary discussions.

For further information, please contact:

More information about the green transition

More information about funding applications

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Päivitetty: 25.03.2024