Green transition is progressing but the permit system is lagging behind

The green transition is making great strides in the Nordics, and Finland is one of the leading countries in promoting the energy transition. As ways of advancing the transition, Finland has made record-high investments in green transition projects and made the official processing of permit applications more flexible.

There are currently several planned emission-free energy projects in Finland – and they are often unprecedented in the energy industry. For example, the production of wind power is being moved from land to sea, and green hydrogen is expected to provide solutions for the needs of energy production in traffic and industry, among others.

However, the regulation and permit systems have not managed to keep up with the pace. As the need of and demand for the green transition is great, projects will advance even if the permit system or regulation is not ready. For example, investors, developers and decision-makers are currently interested in the production of green hydrogen, but the reform of the Industrial Emissions Directive, which is being prepared in the EU, will most likely not be ready before the first hydrogen production plant projects have permits.

The situation forces companies to be creative and adapt to uncertain circumstances. It is possible that an appropriate permit system does not yet exist for the project or investment. As a result, project developers have a greater responsibility and role in designing and leading the permitting process.

Companies need to have a creative strategy, keep a cool head and find a strategic partner that provides them with business-friendly and solution-oriented thinking as well as experience in advancing new innovations.