• Atmospheric CO2 /Parts per Million /Annual Averages /Data Source: noaa.gov

  • 1980338.91ppm

  • 1981340.11ppm

  • 1982340.86ppm

  • 1983342.53ppm

  • 1984344.07ppm

  • 1985345.54ppm

  • 1986346.97ppm

  • 1987348.68ppm

  • 1988351.16ppm

  • 1989352.78ppm

  • 1990354.05ppm

  • 1991355.39ppm

  • 1992356.1ppm

  • 1993356.83ppm

  • 1994358.33ppm

  • 1995360.18ppm

  • 1996361.93ppm

  • 1997363.04ppm

  • 1998365.7ppm

  • 1999367.8ppm

  • 2000368.97ppm

  • 2001370.57ppm

  • 2002372.59ppm

  • 2003375.14ppm

  • 2004376.96ppm

  • 2005378.97ppm

  • 2006381.13ppm

  • 2007382.9ppm

  • 2008385.01ppm

  • 2009386.5ppm

  • 2010388.76ppm

  • 2011390.63ppm

  • 2012392.65ppm

  • 2013395.39ppm

  • 2014397.34ppm

  • 2015399.65ppm

  • 2016403.09ppm

  • 2017405.22ppm

  • 2018407.62ppm

  • 2019410.07ppm

  • 2020412.44ppm

  • 2021414.72ppm

  • 2022418.56ppm

News & Views

Exclusive: Naked Energy’s CEO on the renewable energy investment space

Christophe Williams told NZI investors must act rapidly to recover the ground the UK has lost in the global green transition

Content Tags: Interview  Energy  Renewables  UK 

Only yesterday, MPs were told by energy heavyweights that the UK risks being left behind in the race for green investment as the US and EU are looking to "leapfrog" Britain.

The remarks follow Energy UK's latest report, published last month, in which it warned that investment opportunities in clean energy could be squandered if the UK government does not take measures to combat rapidly rising costs for low carbon projects.

Time for Net Zero Investor to catch up with the CEO of a rapidly growing UK-based solar thermal manufacturer to get his views on what the government needs to be doing to keep pace with the US and EU when it comes to renewable investment.

Christophe Williams, the CEO and co-founder of Naked Energy, has been in green energy space for more than a decade, since “before it was cool”, and claims now to have the world’s highest energy density solar technology with distribution deals around the globe. 

Williams told this publication the government "must act rapidly to recover the ground we’ve lost in the green transition, especially when it comes to renewable energy."

In fact, he urges the government commit to 11GW of solar thermal by 2030, as heating and cooling make up 51% of the energy we consume on the planet.

He also calls for a renewable energy scheme that lasts longer than five years, because "if we’re serious about reaching net zero, we need to cut red tape so projects get the green light in weeks, rather than years."

Finally, Williams said VCs need to be doing more to help accelerate renewable innovation, because "without these long-term investments we’ll never reach carbon neutral."

You said you want to see the government commit to 11GW of solar thermal by 2030? Tell us how this would make a difference.

A national target of 11 GW of solar thermal installed by 2030 would put the UK on par with today’s EU average. The issue of decarbonising heat has recently gained more prominence in the conversation about climate change, but for a long time it’s been the elephant in the room. 


Policy makers and investors alike still require a lot of education to understand the urgency of heat decarbonisation.

Christophe Williams, CEO & co-founder of Naked Energy

They often think of transport or electricity as the biggest offenders, but really it’s heat. As a result, attention is frequently given to the slicker, consumer-facing solutions - but these are only one part of the puzzle. Every sector has an important role to play, but we won’t stop climate change with hybrid vehicles and emission tracking software alone. We need industrial-scale change, and that takes time and money.

You are also pushing for renewable energy schemes to last longer than five years, tell us why?

We’ve seen so many schemes implemented and then scrapped, and a scheme that incentivises businesses to invest in renewables for longer than five years is long overdue. Reliable government funding for renewable infrastructure would dramatically increase investor and business confidence, and help those struggling to pay rising energy prices. The wholesale cost of energy has only caused demand for renewables to increase.

The UK must now pull out all the stops and take every opportunity to invest in the nation’s renewable infrastructure. From our farmlands to our cities, we have so much untapped potential – and the need for the UK to be self-sufficient in its energy generation has never been more critical. We’ve already seen the cost of inaction over the past decade, and we can’t let it happen again.

You said that if we’re serious about reaching net zero, we need to cut red tape, so projects get the green light in weeks, rather than years. How can this be established?

We need a clear, long-term nationwide strategy and streamlined processes from government that can be implemented by local councils quickly and efficiently. Across the country, investment must go to decentralised energy generation to help businesses and communities protect themselves against ongoing market volatility. From leisure centres to hospitals, every building could be generating its own energy - specifically heat - if we sped up deployment of urban solar heat and power projects. 

In the residential sector, some simple regulatory measures would go a long way in supporting net zero. Stringent building regulations that require new builds to meet the highest energy efficiency standards and have renewable technologies will benefit tenants and landlords alike. The 2025 Future Homes Standard must be adhered to by including solar energy as a key means to meet decarbonisation targets; and Energy Performance Certificates should be updated to include details on how well any green technology installed on the property is performing.


Green consumer finance and mortgage products that reward investment in properties with solar technology will drive much needed change.

Christophe Williams

Naked Energy operates across the EU and the US, but you told me you can see the UK drastically falling behind in the race for solar investment. Why is that?

With the US having implemented the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) last year and the European Union now introducing the Green Deal Industrial Plan, the direction of travel is clear. The energy transition provides a huge opportunity to build domestic supply chains, revitalise national industries and mitigate the worst effects of climate change.

The UK’s historic lack of consistent policy and deployment targets have led to sluggish adoption of renewable energy technologies. Naked Energy designs and manufactures innovative solar thermal collectors to decarbonise heat, and deployment of solar thermal is much lower in the UK than in our European neighbours. This has to change - solar thermal should be seen as an integral part of this journey in the UK.

Do you think VCs need to be doing more to help accelerate renewable hardware innovation? Will we - without these long-term investments - never reach carbon neutral?

Investor support for climate tech has evolved dramatically since we launched a decade ago, and it continues to accelerate at pace. When the business started in 2009, VCs had lost a lot of money from cleantech - they were expecting quick exits and massive valuations, but this wasn’t the case. VCs often require a 3/4 year turnaround and demand rapid growth from their investment, however not all cleantech businesses can do this, nor should they. This mindset made it extremely challenging to secure investment, but through persistence we found investors that understood our vision and aligned on expectations. 

Nowadays there are more investors focused on impact investing, and the cleantech space has expanded dramatically alongside the increasing urgency to address climate change. It seems like the penny is finally dropping. Capital needs to flow into cleantech so we can fund the energy transition in all its forms. Investors have a tendency to funnel money into software projects with quick turnarounds. Whilst they’re doing great work, it’s hardware we need, because at its core, climate change is predominantly a hardware issue. I think that’s something investors need to realise. Without it, we’ll never be able to reach net zero, let alone net zero carbon.

Content Tags: Interview  Energy  Renewables  UK 

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