Naked Energy – solar thermal technology

What are we doing?

Nesta’s Impact Investments team backs tech ventures working in areas aligned with our 2030 impact goals. Nesta’s sustainable future mission aims to make it easier and more affordable for people to use clean, green sources of energy to heat and power their homes.

We have made our first sustainability investment of £1M, alongside Barclays and ELM Companies, in solar thermal technology company Naked Energy. Its market-leading Virtu product has the ability to harvest more of the sun’s abundant energy in confined spaces than competing solutions, creating clear economic and decarbonisation benefits for commercial, municipal and residential building owners.

Naked Energy has developed high-efficiency solar thermal technology that can generate emission-free heat and/or power. Its evacuated tubes deliver the highest-density solar thermal offering on the market today. The products are modular, scalable to meet customers’ heat/power demands and designed to be easily mounted onto all roof types and facades. They have up to a 20-year lifespan and performance and condition of the tubes is monitored remotely via data platform, Clarity 24/7.

Why are we doing this?

We are excited by this investment, because Nesta has a long term-focus on helping the UK to decarbonise its housing stock. We believe that Naked Energy can play a meaningful role in this transition, particularly for multi-unit residential properties where heat pumps may not be a viable solution. By efficiently capturing the sun’s thermal energy, the company provides its customers with near-zero cost heat which directly replaces and reduces heating demand from gas, oil and electricity powered systems.

The key difference between Naked Energy’s technology and that of other solar thermal companies is its clever use of evacuated tube technology, which enables the technology to squeeze more heat and power out of confined spaces. As space constraints are often a limiting factor for customers, this clever tech has strong advantages over competing solutions and is now ready for commercial growth.

Over the last 10 years Naked Energy products have been tested, optimised and certified, and the company has established scalable manufacturing and distributor arrangements. The company is now experiencing rapid expansion of its sales pipeline due to rising gas and electricity prices and the increasing imperative around decarbonisation. The company’s potential to meaningfully remove carbon from the built environment sits at the heart of Nesta’s decarbonisation mission.

What's next?

Nesta Impact Investments’ support will help Naked Energy to scale its technology into the UK, Europe and North America. We plan to help the company demonstrate the evidence in decarbonisation and cost benefits that its technology delivers.

“At Naked Energy, we’re always looking for investors who share our long-term green vision and Nesta is clearly aligned with our mission to deliver climate impact at scale. We’re delighted to be supported by Nesta’s Impact Investment team. With Nesta’s help we’re looking forward to being able to increase the rate at which we decarbonise heat – an issue that we need to urgently address in order to reach net zero.”

Christophe Williams, CEO and founder of Naked Energy

Author

Alex Hook

Alex Hook

Alex Hook

Senior Investment Director, Impact Investments

Alex is responsible for managing Nesta’s portfolio of direct investments in early stage UK technology companies, as well as Nesta’s fund of fund investments.

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Emma Ahmad Neale

Emma Ahmad Neale

Emma Ahmad Neale

Operations Manager, Impact Investments

Emma is the operations manager for Nesta’s Impact Investments team.

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