AES and Riverstone Holdings have announced they will commit US$500 million each over the next five years to launch AES Solar with the aim of developing utility-scale photovoltaic projects around the world. The joint venture of global power developer AES and private equity firm Riverstone will take on projects ranging in size from two megawatts to 50 MW. AES Solar will focus at first on projects in countries offering the most attractive returns, according to the companies. As the costs of photovoltaic panels and installation come down, AES Solar will look to expand into other countries with appropriate market incentives, they add. Renewable energy accounts for roughly 20 per cent of AES’s global generation capacity of 43 GW. In April 2006 Virginia-based AES said it planned to spend about $1 billion over the next three years to expand its alternative energy business and bring to market new projects and technologies to reduce or offset greenhouse gas emissions.