Promoting the battery value chain

The predictability of the permit process and ensuring the availability of skilled labour are critical factors for the growth of the Finnish battery industry. The Finnish Minerals Group has played an essential role in promoting investments in the battery industry. The National Audit Office recommends that the grants allocated to support the industry should be monitored in a centralised manner.

In a battery value chain, minerals enabling the electrification of transport are refined for battery production. The state promotes the formation of the value chain by

  • ownership and marketing that promote investments,

  • supporting research and commercialisation of innovations,

  • maintaining the national logistics and energy infrastructure and

  • ensuring the availability of labour.

The audit produced information on the development of and obstacles to the objectives and measures related to the battery value chain and on the roles of different central government functions in promoting the battery value chain.

Low-carbon raw material production and energy, for example, help to attract investments in the battery industry in Finland. The state’s active ownership supports this. However, failure to ensure predictability of the permit process or to ensure the availability of labour and competence may form an obstacle to the growth of the industry.

The environmental permit granted by the Finnish authorities is considered even internationally as a guarantee of sustainable production. However, the problem with the environmental impact assessment procedure and the environmental permit procedure is their long duration. From the perspective of companies, it is important that the duration and outcome of the permit process are to some extent foreseeable.

Predictable availability of labour is a prerequisite for the growth of the battery industry. Responding to the competence needs does not require completely new kind of competence, education or training, but existing competence can be converted or parts of qualifications can be combined to meet the needs of the battery industry.

There are already serious mismatch problems in the battery industry. The actors of the national competence development system have had sufficient foresight information on the development of the battery industry. However, the Ministry of Education and Culture has not used this information to ensure the availability of labour in the battery industry but has assigned the responsibility for meeting the competence needs to education providers and companies.