Cities for Open and Participative Planning for Electricity grid Resilience

Clean, flexible, decentralized, and digital energy systems are crucial to achieving the EU goal of climate neutrality by 2050. To meet the increasing demand for electricity, the expansion of renewable energy is progressing rapidly. However, poor management of intermittent energy is already leading to costly grid overloads, especially in countries within the North Sea Region (NSR). In the future, local authorities will replace Distribution System Operators (DSOs) as leading coordinators of the energy system to make necessary green investments at the local level.

The Interreg North Sea project COPPER supports the local authorities of the NSR in their new role as coordinators for the local energy network. It positions them as pioneers for future local energy system management, benefiting all energy stakeholders through flexible and clean energy networks. It builds local capacities by providing a shared digital toolbox, guiding NSR cities in local energy planning, market promotion, and infrastructure provision.

9 project partners and 4 sub-partners from 5 countries are working together to realize the urban power grids of the future. Their collaborative efforts aim to increase the use of renewable energies at the local level, enhance network flexibility, and reduce costs for developers and communities. The outcomes of the pilot projects are intended to contribute to the development of long-term locally oriented energy strategies.

As part of COPPER, Climate Alliance collaborates with Malmö Municipality, Municipality of Dordrecht, Esbjerg Municipality, City of Antwerp, Center Denmark Drift ApS, Aalborg University, European Distribution Systems Operators for Smart Grids AISBL, and 4 sub-partners within a consortium led by the City of Ghent.

Project funding period: October 2023 – September 2027
via the Interreg North Sea programs

Want to learn more? Contact Andreas Kress at a.kress(at) or Susanne Brandt at s.brandt(at)