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By Apostol Radev, CEO and Co-Founder, SolarSteam 

If heavy industry was a country, it would be the largest producer of greenhouse gases on Earth. The global trend to integrate Environment, Social, Governance (ESG) strategies is one of the most significant tools available for companies interested in reversing this impact. SolarSteam Inc., a Calgary based renewable company with a vision to developing the lowest cost renewable heat, represents a transformational cleantech solution which is data driven, sustainable, net zero focused, integrates artificial intelligence and machine learning and aligns with global parameters for evidence based validation of ESG focus areas. 

SolarSteam system provides the ability to integrate a transformative low carbon technology and digital technology to build a unique solution that improves performance, reduces costs and supports energy transition, while contributing to cost competitiveness, advances sustainability and environmental stewardship, and promotes social diversity and equality, especially in a past COVID-19 economy. 

These are challenging times for the energy sector in Canada, but responding to this new reality should be taken as an opportunity to put Alberta oil and gas skill sets back to work. The changing ESG policy landscape in the country is creating new drivers from a business risk management and investment perspective. Furthermore, the business case for integrating a climate dimension on a corporate level is a lot stronger than it used to be. The GHG emissions reduction benefit of generating renewable heat using SolarSteam’s technology across various heat intensive industry segments presents an opportunity to enable Alberta’s Large Final Emitters (LFEs) to establish Alberta as the next big market for concentrated solar heat and become leaders in ESG. 

As a new Canadian, Apostol Radev, CEO & Co-Founder of SolarSteam, has come to understand and be proud that Alberta has been blessed with vast reserves of natural resources, a rich Aboriginal history and a culture that has made its people resourceful, persistent and hospitable to others. SolarSteam’s team is driven by the great entrepreneurship and innovation in Alberta’ energy industry, and they firmly believe that the local spirit and skill set will build the bridge to one unified and diverse sustainable energy sector. 

Globally, producers spend up to $40 billion dollars a year on steam and hot water, and industry process heat demands are set to increase. SolarSteam’s solution reduces energy costs by up to 40%, while significantly reducing CO2 emissions. 

SolarSteam’s system uses solar collectors to concentrate sunlight in order to generate hot water and steam. A transparent membrane enclosure increase efficiency by keeping the collectors clean and reduces capital cost by allowing for lightweight materials that don’t require rigid and expensive foundations and controls. SolarSteam’s generators will operate in conjunction with existing boilers and use boiler feed water to provide direct hot water and steam generation. 

SolarSteam’s solution reduces energy costs by up to 40%, while significantly reducing CO emissions.

Over the last 3 years SolarSteam has been collaborating with a multi-billion-dollar company with significant operations in Alberta, Canada and a strong ESG mandate. This company has provided in-kind and financial support with respect to preliminary evaluation and design of the technology and has papered its intent to evaluate results of the pilot with the intention of becoming a beachhead market adopter. Other markets that SolarSteam is collaborating with include sustainable food development in the Caribbean, district heating operators in Canada and cosmetics producers in Europe. 

SolarSteam is collaborating with Scovan Engineering and Gemini Fabrication to complete final commercialization efforts for deploying a field system in Alberta. This first of a kind deployment will validate SolarSteam’s technology ability to support global ESG alignment with United National SDGs, Global Reporting Initiative, Task force on Climate Related Financial Disclosure and Sustainable Accounting Standards Board to enable our early adopters to advance their ESG mandates. 

SolarSteam is currently working with one of the top research institutes in the US, the National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL) through the Canada/NREL Cleantech Accelerator Program being hosted by the Consulate General of Canada in Denver. SolarSteam is also one of the finalists presenting at NREL Industry Growth Forum conference (virtual) April 20-22, 2021. 

SolarSteam enables the emerging energy transition by achieving Environment goals that reduce GHG emissions by up to 50% compared to fossil fuel powered heat generation. Integrating the solution creates Social value by creating high quality jobs. Best of all SolarSteam deployment support Governance goals such as improving financial performance by as much as 40%, data driven reporting and alignment with global performance standards. 

None of this would have been possible without the support of the GreenSTEM program by the Government of Alberta which enables entrepreneurship and provides a two-year commercialization runway for “deep technology” companies involved in science-based innovation. 

Originally published in Scovan’s IGNITE Vol. 2