In this episode of Grid Talk, host Marty Rosenberg talks with Tom Fanning who is the Chairman, President and CEO of Southern Company. Southern Company has a physical presence in 18 states and is a recognized provider of customized energy solutions across the country. The discussion focuses on several topics including cybersecurity, a carbon-free future, distributive energy, and rapid changes in the utility industry
The podcast starts with a discussion about cybersecurity and the electrical grid following the SolarWinds hack.
“It is a stark reminder for all the advantages the digital economy gives us, how vulnerable we can be if we don’t act with the right sense of propriety in protecting those assets,” said fanning.
Mr. Fanning also talks about Southern Company’s goal of net-zero carbon operations by 2050.
“Critical to getting to this future will be the development of technology whether it’s battery storage, whether it’s hydrogen, whether it’s doing something to attack the carbon atom itself, carbon capture and storage, EVs; there’s a whole lot we’ve got to do as a nation to get there.”
Finally, he talks about Southern Company’s overall business strategy and he explains “pursuing creative destruction.”
Tom Fanning has been Chairman, President and CEO of Southern Company since 2010. With more than 35 years of experience at Southern Company, Mr. Fanning also serves as chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and holds senior positions in several business and public policy organizations. He is an internationally respected voice on topics that range from energy innovation and economic growth, to cybersecurity.
Mr. Fanning earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial management and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree from Georgia Tech. His executive education includes programs at the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland, Harvard Business School and the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.