Naked Energy has secured €1.3 million (£1 million) of funding to further the development of its hybrid solar module, Virtu.

The company’s Virtu module is able to generate both electricity and hot water. The company claims that the PVT system results in higher electrical output than traditional PV modules because heat is drawn away from the PV cells, keeping them at optimum operating temperature.

Naked Energy successfully won €1 million (£825,000) of funding through the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) Energy Entrepreneurs fund. Naked Energy says that the money will be used to optimise the production process, accelerating Virtu towards a commercial launch.   

“We are delighted to receive this award and vote of confidence from DECC, in what is a highly competitive space,” said Christophe Williams, founder and CEO of Naked Energy Ltd.

“The funding will have a dramatic impact on our progress, as we are now able to secure additional talent to our team and partner with some of the best scientific and academic partners in the country,” he said.

Energy and climate change minister Greg Barker added: “Innovation is vital for the move towards a low carbon economy and it's great to see so many entrepreneurs rising to the challenge. I wish the winners every success with their projects.”

In addition, the company secured a further €300,000 (£250,000) grant from the European innovation partnership, Climate-KIC.  

The company is predicting that the new round of funding will help accelerate it towards its first pilot projects, with small-scale production scheduled to start mid-2014 and larger volume manufacturing set to start in 2015.

Talking about the potential future for solar technologies, Williams remains extremely upbeat about what will be achieved in the coming years. He said: “The opportunity is crystal clear. Despite the consolidation taking place in the worldwide solar marketplace the future is very bright – literally. Generating clean, unlimited power from the sun is more than viable, its imperative as part of a sensible long-term energy mix.

“Virtu captures over four times the energy of a conventional photovoltaic panel and once we reach scale it will be priced very attractively. We have a highly scalable business and a worldwide market. It is difficult to keep under the radar with such an exciting proposition; we hope our potential customers can continue to be patient.”