Electricity emissions down, renewables a key factor: data

The first six months of the carbon tax saw a sharp decline in carbon emissions from the electricity sector, giving the Labor government something to trumpet, but also resulting in a decline in revenues the government can expect to receive from the carbon tax, according to The Australian.

Carbon emissions from the electricity sector fell 8.6 per cent during the first six months of the carbon tax, as compared to the previous December half, which bolsters Labor's arguments about the effectiveness of the carbon tax.

However, the resulting decline in carbon tax revenues – Labor anticipates $4 billion this year – comes as the government also struggles to absorb the fact that the minerals resource rent tax (MRRT) missed its revenue target substantially, with the mining tax posting zero revenues during the first six months of the year when Labor expected to raise $2 billion from the mining tax this year.

Analysis shows the emissions fall has been brought about through a heavier input from renewable energy and a reduction in electricity demand.

The change in the electricity mix, with greater use of clean energy, had cut emissions by 6 per cent in the first six months of the financial year, according to The Australian.