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.
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:
- energy production plants producing renewable energy as well as offshore wind farms and related water management projects;
- industrial projects replacing the use of fossil fuels or raw materials based on renewable energy or electrification;
- the production and utilisation of hydrogen, except for the production of hydrogen from fossil fuels;
- carbon capture, recovery and storage;
- battery factories and the manufacture, recovery and reuse of battery materials.
- Instructions for the priority processing application for green transition projects from Regional State Administrative Agencies (avi.fi)
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:
- Permit advice service for renewable energy (ely.keskus.fi) (in finnish)
- Customer service centre for environmental matters (ely-keskus.fi), tel. +358 295 020 900, Mon–Fri at 9–16, local network charge, email: [email protected] (in finnish)
More information about the green transition
- What is the green transition? (ym.fi)
- Guidance to implement the “Do No Significant Harm” (DNSH) principle required by the EU funding facility for measures under the Finnish recovery and resilience plan (syke.fi)
- Green transition projects 2023–2026 (avi.fi)
- Green investments in Finland (ek.fi)
More information about funding applications
- Call for applications open until 29 February for REPowerEU investment aid for clean transition projects
- The Sustainable Growth Program for Finland (businessfinland.fi)
- Enterprise financing (tem.fi)
- Funding for green transition development projects from the European Regional Development Fund (ym.fi)
- The Innovation and Skills in Finland 2021–2017 programme promotes regional vitality, employment and wellbeing (rakennerahastot.fi)
- EU funding advisory service (eurahoitusneuvonta.fi)