Capacity Needs Diagnostics for Renewable Energies (CaDRE)

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Tool Overview

Under the umbrella of the Clean Energy Ministerial Multilateral Working Group on Solar and Wind Energy Technologies, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Instituto para la Diversificación y Ahorro de la Energía (IDAE), and NREL have partnered to develop the Capacity Needs Diagnostics for Renewable Energies (CaDRE), a guide for conducting renewable energy capacity needs assessments. CaDRE was launched at the CEM 3 in London on April, 2012.

The goal of the CaDRE is to offer policy makers, institutions and practitioners the necessary tools and methodologies for conducting a gap analysis of the current capacity of the renewable energy industry, specifically regarding wind and solar technologies. The gaps and needs that this analysis exposes will identify the areas which need to be addressed to support the further deployment of renewable energy. CaDRE is composed of a Handbook, outlining the systematic process and a Toolbox, consisting of a number of tools that can be used for the different CaDRE tasks.

Handbook and Toolbox

"The Handbook and Toolbox provide a step-by-step guide to help practitioners plan and conduct comprehensive capacity needs diagnostics at a national, regional or local level. The CaDRE Handbook and Toolbox are aimed at two main types of practitioners: technical staff and/or consultants in charge of planning and conducting the CaDRE, and decision-makers who commission a CaDRE and will use the results either to design capacity development strategies or for other purposes.

The Handbook provides

  1. A description of the requirements and necessary conditions for conducting a CaDRE.
  2. Concrete, practical and user-oriented guidelines on how to conduct comprehensive capacity needs diagnostics (at the system, institutional, network and individual levels) and how to interpret and prioritise results to facilitate strategic decision-making.
  3. A modular design that allows quick, partial or full diagnostics depending on the desired scope and focus, budget or time availability.
  4. An overview and sequence of recommended tasks to be completed throughout the diagnostic and decision-making processes.
  5. Practical recommendations and references to useful and proven tools which facilitate the diagnostic process.
  6. Experiences and lessons learnt from previous capacity needs diagnostics and capacity development projects.
  7. Suggestions on how to integrate the results in the capacity development cycle."

The toolbox provides 25 different tools that will help the user through processes described in the handbook.

The handbook and toolbox can be downloaded here: Handbook Toolbox

Four Levels of CaDRE

CaDRE is based on the idea that a governing body can successfully develop in the renewable energy sector when the following requirements are met at each of the four levels below:

  1. The system level - Covers the enabling environment and framework conditions for renewable energy, such as policy goals, appropriate laws, infrastructure and regulations and standards for facilitating the market penetration of renewable energy.
  2. The organizational level - Covers institutions and organisations (regulatory authorities, service providers and front line agencies, research, educational, training and finance institutions and private sector representatives), and their ability to effectively cope with their mandates and to adjust their operations to changes.
  3. The individual level - Covers the awareness, knowledge and technical and managerial skills of staff in government institutions and agencies, non-profit organisations, the private sector and civil society to develop, implement, manage and use renewable energy. It also considers the present and future potential for jobs generated directly from the sector.
  4. Networks - Covers cross cutting issues that come up at communication and negotiation platforms between stakeholders sharing similar interests and/or areas of work. It also covers the ability of these networks to get the various stakeholders involved, strengthen their joint vision, goals and values, improve their relationships, build trust and increase knowledge exchange.

CaDRE Characteristics

"CaDRE guides policy-makers, organisations and capacity development practitioners as they create an enabling environment for renewable energy. This means CaDRE has the following characteristics:

Flexibility Even though this Handbook suggests a series of modules and tasks to follow, it is not meant to be a rigid approach. Depending on the context in which CaDRE is applied, elements can be removed or added to cover the needs at hand.

Comprehensiveness CaDRE focuses on the solar and wind sectors, but its analytical framework should not be restricted to these two sectors. All capacity levels (system, organisational and individual) should be integrated into the analysis.

Process orientation A full picture of capacity needs can only be achieved if the diagnostic method is process-oriented. CaDRE should focus on the processes and changes required by the energy sector to get to the capacity level required for the sector to function.

Continuity Capacity development needs vary over time. Hence, CaDRE should not be a one-time effort. In order to evaluate the process of closing identifi ed capacity gaps and to capture and react to changing demands for capacity as the market evolves, CaDRE results should be reviewed periodically. A properly conducted CaDRE has the following positive impacts:

  • Facilitating dialogue and negotiation between the public and private sector: A comprehensive diagnostic process brings together representatives of all relevant stakeholder groups. Dialogue can contribute to the establishment of a development consensus. It can provide the foundation for setting commonly agreed capacity development targets and for executing a joint, result-oriented response
  • Creating ownership over of the capacity development processes: CaDRE requires substantial input and effort, as well as financial and managerial commitments. The awareness and knowledge gleaned from the analysed sector accompanied by the responsibilities of key stakeholders creates the right conditions for owning the process.
  • Increasing transparency: The intensive analysis of processes and structures in the wind and/or solar energy sector helps create greater transparency among relevant stakeholders."

Steps of CaDRE

"The CaDRE process consists of deciding exactly what will be analysed (the geographical and technological focus, level of capacity etc.), carrying out the diagnostics and finally generating and prioritising recommendations for a capacity development strategy. Thus the CaDRE process contains three main steps that may vary in intensity depending on the type of CaDRE selected (quick, partial or full):

Step I – Scoping – analyses the context defines the scope and plans the execution of the CaDRE. The core results of this step are an overview of the analysed context, a common understanding of targets and a decision on the extent of the capacity needs diagnostics. Roles, responsibilities, tasks and deliverables for the capacity needs diagnostics are also defined and the first major gaps identified.

Step II – Diagnostics – analyses the capacities already in place at the individual, organisational and institutional level and what is required to reach targets. The related strengths and weaknesses of the overall system are identified. The core result is an overview of existing and lacking capacities related to the renewable energy sector target.

Step III – Review and recommendations – the findings of the needs diagnostics are summarised, prioritised and communicated among the stakeholders involved in decision-making. The core result is a decision on the recommendations that will lay the foundations for a comprehensive capacity development strategy. This would be the next phase in the overall capacity development process."


  1.  "CaDRE - Energypedia"