Capacity Needs Diagnostics for Renewable Energies (CaDRE)

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Capacity Development Needs Diagnostics for Renewable Energy (CaDRE) describes the first phase of a process to support the capacity development at the individual, organisational, network and system level of a country's renewable energy industry and sector.

The purpose of CaDRE is to provide governments and stakehoders with the process and tools necessary to undertake an analysis of the current capacity of their renewable energy industry and sector. By assessing the existing and required capacities, CaDRE identifies the “capacity gap” and the “capacity development needs” which need to be addressed to support the further deployment of renewable energy. It provides governments and stakeholders the required information for designing a demand- oriented capacity development strategy and creates the basis for its implementation.

The CaDRE concept was jointly developed by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), the Instituto para la Diversificación y Ahorro de la Energía (IDAE), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the US- National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) under the umbrella of the Multilateral Working Group for Wind and Solar Energy of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM).

CaDRE Handbook and Toolbox for Wind and Solar Energy

In order to support its implementation, GIZ, NREL, IDEA and IRENA jointly produced and published a practitioners Handbook and Toolbox for CaDRE. 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 and Toolbox focus on Wind and Solar Energy. The process and many tools are also applicable for other technologies.

CaDRE Handbook and Toolbox Cover.jpg
CaDRE Handbook and Toolbox Cover

The Handbook provides (click here to download):

  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(click here todownload) complements the Handbook, providing a compendium of 25 practical tools that support the diagnostic process.

Conceptional Background

CaDRE as part of the Capacity Development Cycle

The capacity development process can be described as a cycle with four major phases. The rationale behind this cycle is that an effective, balanced and efficient strategy can only be developed if the specific capacity needs in the field of interest are thoroughly analysed. Once these are known, appropriate measures to satisfy the capacity needs at the system, organisational and individual level can be designed and implemented. Continuous monitoring and evaluation of the results and impacts of these measures allows new measures to be taken in line with new developments.

Capacity Development Process CaDRE.jpg
Capacity Development Process CaDRE

The phases are:

  • Phase I – The Capacity Development Needs Diagnostics
  • Phase II – The design of a capacity development strategy.
  • Phase III – The implementation of the strategy combines various issues, such as the strengthening of framework conditions, institutional/organisational development and human resource development.
  • Phase IV – The monitoring and evaluation process provides the necessary input to continuously adapt the process to changing capacity development needs. It also helps to evaluate successes, failures and the impact of the capacity development measures.

The Four CaDRE Levels

The successful development of renewable energy is dependent on the existence of institutional and individual capacity to enable it.

Capacity is required across all levels including the system level, the organisation level, and at the individual level. The system level requires capacity within its policy framework and business environment which will enable the deployment of renewable energy. To utilise this system level capacity requires organisations and institutions with the ability to effectively and efficiently fulfill their mandates with regard to renewable energy deployment. In turn this is built on the capacity of the available personnel that must possess the latest knowledge of the technical and managerial issues related to renewable energy. For the long term sustainability of the sector it is also important to consider the capacity of the current and future direct workforce, and the necessity of establishing networks and platforms for further industry development.

A CaDRE needs to be comprehensive and cover all aspects of renewable energy deployment (such as policies, legal and regulatory frameworks, market structures and the solar and wind value chains) and all the capacity levels that influence this process (system, organisational, individual and cross-cutting networks).

The CaDRE approach is based on the notion that the successful development of the renewable energy sector is possible when the necessary capacities exist at the following levels:

  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 organisational 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.

The CaDRE Approach

The Characteristics of CaDRE

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.

Creating ownership over of the capacity development processes:

Increasing transparency: The intensive analysis of processes and structures in the wind and/or solar energy sector helps create greater transparency among relevant stakeholders.

The CaDRE Steps

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.

Overview of CaDRE steps and modules.jpg
Overview of CaDRE steps and modules

The Key Element of CaDRE: The Target Model

In order to change and improve the capacities that influence the successful deployment of renewable energy, it is necessary to clearly define the desired result. A clear vision (or target) helps identify which key adaptations and developments are needed to achieve it (capacity needs), the potential of the existing system to cope with the relevant challenges (existing capacities) and the capacities still missing and in need of development (capacity gap).

The Target Model, -the core element of the CaDRE process - helps to answer these questions in a structured way.

The Target Model fulfils the following functions:

  • It provides a working tool for creating a comprehensive overview of all crucial topics, processes, issues and needs at all steps of CaDRE.
  • It helps stakeholders define a commonly held clear vision and realistic targets for wind and/or solar development (during Step I – Scoping).
  • It acts as a reference model to identify existing and lacking capacities (during Step II – Diagnostics).
  • It acts as a main source for recommendations on possible capacity development programmes (during Step III – Review and recommendations).

The Target Model is described as Tool 6 in the CaDRE Toolbox.

The Consultation Process

To generate a common understanding and kick-off a discussion among experts and practitioners on the role of capacity needs assessments for systematic design of capacity development strategies and measures within the renewable energy sector, the Capacity Assessment Group members of the CEM Working Group for Wind and Solar Energy jointly elaborated a concept paper.

Being in the process of elaborating a Handbook and Toolbox for "Capacity Development Needs Diagnosis for Renewable Energy" the working group intended to closely involve interested actors to contribute with experiences and expertise to this activity.

To this intent, a consultation process was initiated by circulating the concept paper to a selected list of institutions, practitioners and experts active in capacity development for the renewable energy sector, aiming at:

  • Validating the understanding on capacity development and on the approach towards capacity development needs diagnoses of the working group
  • Understanding what the key issues are that need to be addressed in the process of identifying capacity gaps within the renewable energy sector of a country
  • Identifying valuable experiences with diagnosing capacity development needs in the renewable energy sector (focus on wind and solar)
  • Gathering proven approaches, methods, tools and instruments applicable to the diagnostic process.

The recieved was incorporated into the Concept Paper of the CEM Mulilateral Working Group on Wind and Solar Energy: "The role of Capacity Development for the deployment of renewable energy and the added value of Capacity Needs Assessments for the design of Capacity Development Strategies” as well as into the Handbook and the Toolbox.

Further Information