Since 2011, the commercial arm of Wolwedans has invested some 11.2 million Namibian Dollars into renewable solar energy projects both at the Village and at the guest facilities of Dunes Lodge, Boulders Camp and Private Camp. Dune Camp has yet to receive solar energy infrastructure (although this had been scheduled for mid 2020 but was delayed due to unforeseen events). The business is not in a financial position (post-COVID) to make the necessary investment to complete its vision for clean energy independence, nor is it anticipated to be for at least another three years. Our commitment to minimising our carbon footprint, however, remains a top priority.
A creative solution to this challenge is to make renewable power generation a pursuit under The AridEden Project while simultaneously establishing an income stream for the Wolwedans Foundation. Ownership of current and future solar infrastructure would be transferred to the Foundation (at depreciated book value), enabling it to sell clean, renewable power to the commercial entity of Wolwedans and securing a sustainable income that would be used to do good. The sale of the infrastructure would also provide a much-needed cash injection into the recovery phase of the commercial entity.
Funds for this endeavour could be raised from impact investors via interest-free loans and/or grants. If proven successful, the concept could be scaled up with the Foundation owning and operating other solar plants within the wider NamibRand, the GSNL and even Maltahöhe! Potentially, this AridEden initiative could be linked with global Carbon Sequestration schemes – an avenue which needs to be investigated.