BARNSLEY has reached the top ten in an index which shows the towns that are making best use of solar and wind power.

The figures for March show in Barnsley a total of 1.51 MWe of electricity was produced through micro generation methods - 96 per cent through photo-voltaic cells and 4 per cent from wind power. This equates to 1.41 per cent of all micro-generation in the country.

John Mallinder, Barnsley Council's Home Energy Efficiency Officer, says data collected by AEA Microgeneration shows the UK's capacity of renewable technology continues to grow.

"Since last December there has been a significant increase in capacity of 48.8 per cent to just under 108 Megawatt equivalent," he said.

"Solar photo-voltaic (PV) systems dominate the market which is good news for local business as Barnsley has a number of small- to medium-size companies which design and install them."

Barnsley Council and social housing management company Berneslai Homes have through a number of pilot projects installed a range of renewable technologies in housing across the borough. These include ground and air source heat pumps, solar photovoltaic panels, solar thermal systems and biomass district heating.