My Green Transition | Kamdi Uko Olsights Product Manager

Like many, I first became truly aware of our climate crisis after watching one of Sir David Attenborough’s documentaries, Planet Earth. The images of the impact human activity is having on the planet brought the abstract words and graphs to life in a way that conversations and everything I had read up to that point on the topic just couldn’t. The documentary made the problem real, and for the first time, I truly felt the urgency of our situation.

After watching the series, I resolved to do more research into the climate crisis with the goal of figuring out how I could play a role in fixing the problem. I started by cutting down my carbon footprint. First on the chopping block were single-use plastics. I bought reusable grocery bags and replaced ziplock bags with glass bowls and aluminium foil.

Fun fact: aluminium is the most recyclable material in use today.

I am lucky to live in a city with a good public transportation system and I work mostly remotely. So, I put off getting a car and opted for public transportation. When I couldn’t put off getting a car anymore, I insisted on getting an electric car, which had the added benefit of saving me money on petrol. I’ve always recycled, but now I’m more disciplined about composting.

While it felt good to know I was doing my part in a small way, I knew I wanted to have a much greater impact on solving this complex problem. So, I started looking for software product manager roles with clean energy and sustainability software companies. It took a while, but I finally landed a role with Olsights.

At Olsights, we build clean energy data visualisation applications, dedicated to providing energy decision-makers with the tools they need to evaluate and understand the impact of decarbonisation projects. I joined Olsights at the start of REACT (Rapid Evaluation Areal Connection Tool), an Ofgem (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) funded SIF (Strategic Innovation Fund) project.

The REACT project aims to increase the number of clean energy generation projects that reach Final Investment Decision (FID). Clean energy projects typically require connection to the electricity grid network. Currently, these connections are assessed on a case-by-case basis, which is a time-consuming and costly process for both transmission owners and project developers. Developers often wait months to hear back from transmission owners about whether their application has been accepted or denied. After this long wait, developers frequently need to revise their applications, even after making considerable investments, and then undergo the application process again. These delays slow down the development of projects that can help us hit our net zero targets.

With REACT, we aim to increase the chances that connection requests are approved on the first application. We aim to achieve this by creating a dynamic overview of all future connection requests to the network. We provide transparency to future demand customers by allowing them to visualise optimal locations to place new demand and roll out new infrastructure quicker, in more strategic locations. This will help utilise the existing network and avoid large network reinforcement, in turn providing a more cost-effective solution to decarbonisation.

Screenshot of the REACT Alpha output an Ofgem SIF collaboration project led by SSEN Transmission with Olsights MapStand, IceBreakerOne, SGN and National Grid (credit : Olsights)

We completed the Alpha phase of REACT in March, where we built a proof of concept for the tool. The next phase of the project is the Beta phase, where we will build and roll out all the features across the UK.

While we’re in between phases, we are currently polishing and enhancing the Olsights Eye, our flagship product that aggregates and visualises the information clean energy and carbon capture and storage decision-makers need to evaluate and understand the impact of decarbonisation projects. You are welcome to sign up for a free Olsights Eye account and have a play around. We love to hear our users’ feedback as we work through enhancing and improving the product.

Screenshot of the Olsights Eye Geospatial Visualisation Application Showing Carbon Dioxide Emission Levels across the UK to aid Energy Decision Makers understand potential clusters for Carbon Caputure (CCUS) locations. (credit: Olsights).

I’m always open to hearing creative and impactful ideas for reducing my carbon footprint, so please leave a comment or send me a message sharing how you are reducing your carbon footprint.

Kamdi is the Olsights Product Manager and brings a wealth of experience to the team. With a background in web application product management spanning over a decade Kamdi has successfully led teams in developing and launching cutting edge solutions that have had a profound impact.


Rosie Griffiths
Author: Rosie Griffiths