A brand new solar panel development scheme has been given the thumbs-up by Bradford Council.

Set to be installed at Buckley's Barn in Stanbury near Keighley, the council approved the plans after suggesting solar panels provide an attractive alternative to wind turbines. 

Following the approval, some 32 ground-mounted solar panels are expected to be installed. In the planning report from the council, officer Peter Timbrell called on the local authority to give its support to more green energy and renewable schemes in the area. 

Mr Timbrell also claimed that solar panels were more suitable for rural areas. While that might be the case for larger schemes, it is still viable for the technology to be installed on residential properties – albeit on a smaller scale.

Homeowners can benefit from cheaper energy bills following the installation of solar panels, and even make money from photovoltaics if the feed-in tariff is accessed. By allowing unused energy to be fed back to the National Grid, residential property owners will receive payments for the amount of electricity created. 

For those who don't think they can afford the upfront costs of the technology, the Green Deal would be a better scheme to take advantage of. Given the money for installations up-front, loan repayments are then made using the cash saved on future energy bills. 

Mr Timbrell went on to say all local areas have their specific part to play when it comes to the creation of renewable energy.

"However, the greater majority of renewable energy developments in the district have so far comprised wind turbines, whose very significant impact upon sensitive areas of the Green Belt has outweighed their energy potential,” he added. 

Wind turbines are often seen as a visually obtrusive development, with a number of projects cancelled nationwide due to public opposition. 

However, solar panel schemes can often be well hidden from the public eye, especially if the installation is accompanied by the planting of trees, hedges and shrubs to further mask the project.