To meet the European Union’s climate and energy security goals, the EU needs to build an average of 31 GW of renewable energy every year until 2030
Today, we are only at 16 GW per year. To achieve this huge ambition, European Member States will need to activate several levers to reduce the time to operation for clean energy projects. Pre-reviewed renewable energy zones and corridors, shared infrastructure and expeditious processing of permit applications are needed including new ways to innovate, digitalise and collaborate.
More capacity is stuck in the permitting phase than is being constructed and the backlog will only keep increasing every year unless we do something about it. Of course, we need ambitious targets, frameworks and rules. But we also need tools!
To help people on the ground to process the applications faster and in a transparent and fair way, engaging communities in a timely and right manner and respecting biodiversity around it. This is the aim of the digital tool that WindEurope, AWS and Accenture have launched.
Watch the intro video
Our teams from WindEurope, AWS and Accenture came together in January 2023 and within 12 weeks we developed a prototype working closely with permitting agents – people in local municipalities, dealing with permitting process on daily bases. Their insights and detailed struggles sharing was instrumental in the development process.
The prototype was launched in April (photos, video from CPH session). Since then, we have spent countless hours investigating the details of the permitting process in different EU Member States, talking directly to those that are handling the permitting applications.
Denmark was the first pilot country, where we have done additional workshops and interviews with project developers, community representation and permitting agents. This allowed us to mature the prototype that we created into an end-to-end solution for Denmark within 16 weeks. The testing in two Denish municipalities was successful concluded using the real projects data but not in a real time.
What’s special about this tool?
EasyPermits is a cloud-based, open-source solution that can help public administration and local communities to embrace and speed up the whole permitting process, by doing it in a more efficient, transparent, and engaging way. The goal for this solution is to be budget-friendly. Additionally, it is designed in a modular and intuitive way, so it can be easily adapted to any process, any geography or even technology.
- The solution is developed with the highest sensitivity of data security and privacy.
- Permitting agents and project developers need to create a profile beforehand and then need to use a login and password to access the sensitive information.
- It is intuitive and language adaptability also means it requires little to no training for users.
Check out EasyPermits’ features
A template that helps both Project Developers and Permitting Agents to collect the necessary information with most relevant documents from the start without providing too much, or too little information.
There is a standardised workflow for permitting agents listing all the documents required at the respective stage of the permitting process with the possibility to concrete milestones.
Each permit application has a dedicated dashboard that in one glance gives parties involved a quick overview of that permit application including a process timeline, required documents, tasks, activities to track updates on the project.
Project document view
This view holds document submission templates per process stage, version history tracking of documents and comments tracking (based on version, section and page) to ensure all information is provided per stage, and no information gets lost.
Community members can easily see the relevant details of the planned projects. There is also an FAQ answering the generic questions. Proactively making the status transparent fosters a collaborative spirit, and enhances engagement of all relevant stakeholders such as local communities, environmental groups, local municipal councils throughout the whole process. Social acceptance is key to accelerating the pace of the clean energy transition; there needs to be transparency of the pros and cons to those most impacted.
Jakob Hasselgreen is a Permitting Agent for the Vesthimmerland Municipality in Denmark and has been a long-term partner in the development of the tool. His extensive experience has helped shape Easypermits into the intuitive platform it is today!
Check out the short video which explains how Easypermits is now streamlining his workflow; allowing him to be more efficient, organised and have more time to engage with his community.
What comes next?
We are looking for 5 Member States to work with for the next wave of roll-outs in January 2024. When a new country joins, we have a straightforward 4-month onboarding plan.
- First, we learn about the Member State’s specific rules for granting permits. (~1 month)
- Then, we work together to set up the system in the local language with local regulations. (~2 months)
- Finally, we spend a month testing everything. (~1 month)
WindEurope leads the product development and acts as a liaison between the industry, local, national and EU public authorities. It owns the “EasyPermits” intellectual property and manages the product backlog, tailoring the solution to users’ needs. WindEurope promotes EasyPermits‘ adoption across Europe.
Contact: Malgosia Bartosik
Accenture leads the design and development of the EasyPermits tool on AWS cloud services. As a Transformation Partner, it addresses challenges, comes up with ideas and transformes them into real solutions. It provides both strategic advise as well as technology implementation and operational support. Accenture is also responsible for ongoing technical support and further development of the tool.
Contact: Kris Timmermans [email protected]
AWS plays a pivotal role in this project by offering a secure cloud-based services infrastructure, ensuring technical architecture compliance, and providing cutting-edge technology to bolster key features and functionalities. AWS supports the rollout and scaling of EasyPermits across various regions and technologies. AWS guarantees that EasyPermits benefits from best-in-class solutions, ensuring the platform’s ongoing evolution and effectiveness.
Contact: Carol Yan [email protected]