Dr. Richard Swanson is the retired founder of the SunPower, a solar photovoltaic cell manufacturer.
Swanson graduated in 1974 with a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. He then joined the university faculty and began research in solar cell technology. In 1985 Dr. Swanson received grants for his solar energy research from the Electric Power Research Institute and the U.S. Department of Energy. That same year he founded SunPower Corporation. Dr. Swanson is credited for creating Swanson's law, an observation that solar cell prices decline by 20% for every doubling of solar panel industry capacity. The law is often compared to the better known Moore's Law. While Swanson is more frequently associated with Gordon Moore because of the similarity of their eponymous "laws", the current CEO, and former colleague of Swanson's, Tom Werner has called him the "Schottky of solar", a reference to Walter H. Schottky.
Dr. Swanson is also an avid sailing fan and overly fond of penguins.
- "The father of solar in the U.S.". 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
- "SunPower History". 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
- "Sunny Uplands: Alternative energy will no longer be alternative". The Economist. 2012-11-21. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
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