The Prime Minister’s 10 point plan is of course intended to cut emissions; not noise. Its impact on noise levels will be mixed. Here are my noise marks out of 10, ten being good for noise.
Offshore wind: Producing enough offshore wind to power every home, quadrupling how much we produce to 40GW by 2030, supporting up to 60,000 jobs. Hard one to mark as insufficient work has been done on the impact on mammals and fish, so given the uncertainties, 5.
Hydrogen: Working with industry aiming to generate 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 for industry, transport, power and homes, and aiming to develop the first town heated entirely by hydrogen by the end of the decade. Hydrogen is quiet: 10
Nuclear: Advancing nuclear as a clean energy source, across large scale nuclear and developing the next generation of small and advanced reactors, which could support 10,000 jobs. Nuclear plants once up and running are silent neighbours but there can be noise disturbance during construction, so 9.
Electric vehicles: Backing our world-leading car manufacturing bases including in the West Midlands, North East and North Wales to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, and transforming our national infrastructure to better support electric vehicles. Cuts traffic noise dramatically at lower speeds but not so at higher speeds where tyre noise predominates, 7.
Public transport, cycling and walking: Making cycling and walking more attractive ways to travel and investing in zero-emission public transport of the future. Essential to reduce car use but probably requires road pricing (which is not mentioned) as well to get meaningful reduction, 7.
Jet Zero and greener maritime: Supporting difficult-to-decarbonise industries to become greener through research projects for zero-emission planes and ships. There is no guarantee that zero-emissions planes will be quieter; shipping is the main cause of noise in the oceans but engines are not the main cause of it; on their own greener fuels will do little to improve noise, so 3
Homes and public buildings: Making our homes, schools and hospitals greener, warmer and more energy efficient, whilst creating 50,000 jobs by 2030, and a target to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028. Despite claims by some manufacturers that heat pumps are quiet, real noise concerns remain: 0 Hydrogen boilers would be quiet: 10. Thermal insulation doesn't focus on noise: 2
Carbon capture: Becoming a world-leader in technology to capture and store harmful emissions away from the atmosphere, with a target to remove 10MT of carbon dioxide by 2030, equivalent to all emissions of the industrial Humber today. Noise neutral.
Nature: Protecting and restoring our natural environment, planting 30,000 hectares of trees every year, whilst creating and retaining thousands of jobs. Noise neutral.
Innovation and finance: Developing the cutting-edge technologies needed to reach these new energy ambitions and make the City of London the global centre of green finance. Some cutting-edge technologies can benefit noise; others will work against it: 5