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Emerging Markets Fellow Develops Predictive Model of Solar Demand


Gopal Bethmangalkar’s project with Applied Materials helps increase the firm’s understanding of market for solar PV cells and modules

A predictive model on solar demand was developed by Gopal Bethmangalkar, MBA ’12, of the Emerging Markets Institute for use by Applied Materials, Inc., the world’s leading supplier of equipment to manufacture solar PV cells and modules. PV, or photovoltaic cells, are used in solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity. Applied Materials sponsored the work as part of a project with the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University     

The model explains the increase in global PV solar installations from 2005 to 2011 and could be used as a predictor for future growth.  It has been included in presentations by Applied Materials’ Energy and Environmental Solutions Group to analysts and other external audiences.  A variant of the model, which explained the U.S. solar energy market, was presented to the Office of Science & Technology Policy at the White House in January.

 “Applied Materials is proud to have sponsored this project with Johnson at Cornell University,” said Dr. Mark Pinto, executive vice president and general manager of Applied Materials’ Energy and Environmental Solutions Group. “The project resulted in a unique model for predicting worldwide annual solar PV installations, which we see as a valuable tool in understanding the solar PV market.”

 “We are pleased that Gopal’s work has been useful to Applied Materials in discussing the solar industry environment,” said Richard J. Coyle, Executive Director of the Emerging Markets Institute.  “This is just one example of the high quality work which our students can perform”.

About the Emerging Markets Institute:

Established in 2010, the Emerging Markets Institute was founded at Cornell University’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management to promote the research and study of emerging economies.  The Institute provides a private forum for lively exchange among corporate leaders from emerging and developed markets and leading researchers. We are building the most highly regarded academic program for the study of emerging markets—with the breadth, depth, and quality of education needed to effectively prepare business leaders for success.