Gerard Hall expects solar installationSeptember 6, 2013
Residents in Aughton, Lancashire, have now seen plans for a large-scale solar energy project which could soon take place in the local area.
Up to 110 acres could receive solar panels, with the farmland at Gerard Hall set to host the renewable technology, the BBC reports.
The solar farm could potentially provide power for up to 6,000 homes, with residents in the local area expected to benefit. However, the public consultation will require the residents to approve the scheme before the planning application is sent in October.
While some residents oppose the plans due to the location on greenbelt land, and the perceived damage to the local environment, it is important to consider that in most solar farm developments, the surrounding wildlife can live in harmony with the installations.
Furthermore, large solar developments are often only in place for a period of 25 years, while land could be returned to how it was when the scheme is complete.
Solar farms are a key component of future energy generation in the UK, with energy and climate change minister Greg Barker calling for 20GW of solar demand to be provided by the sites by 2020.
Criticism has recently been launched towards the government for not making energy policies more beneficial to community areas – a factor which could potentially hold back future schemes passing through local consultation processes.
However, recent reports from both the BBC and the Department of Energy and Climate change has showed that the UK widely supports solar energy generation schemes – especially over controversial methods such as fracking.
Residents can take their own steps to achieve carbon efficiency, which can in-turn reduce energy bills in the process.
By accessing policies like the Green Deal, UK residents can install solar panels on to their properties with no upfront costs. The installer will provide the money following government grants, which are then paid back by the consumer through future savings on energy bills.