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Government Of Germany Lays Out Plan To Phase Coal Out By 2038

Despite its reputation as a green country, Germany relies heavily on coal for its power needs

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Coal
Water vapor rises from the cooling towers of the Jaenschwalde lignite-fired power plant of Lausitz Energie Bergbau AG beside a wind turbine in Jaenschwalde, Germany, Jan. 24, 2019. VOA

A government-appointed commission laid out a plan Saturday for Germany to phase out coal use by 2038.

The commission — made up of politicians, climate experts, union representatives and industry figures from coal regions — developed the plan under mounting pressure on Europe’s top economy to step up efforts to combat climate change.

 

Coal, Germany
coal-fired Scherer Plant, one of the top carbon emitters in the U.S., is seen in Juliette, Georgia, June, 3, 2017. (VOA)

 

“This is a historic day,” the commission’s head, Ronald Pofalla, said after 20 hours of negotiations.

The recommendations, which involve at least $45.6 billion in aid to coal-mining states affected by the move, must be reviewed by the German government and 16 regional states.

Climate
A wind turbine overlooks the coal-fired power station in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. VOA

While some government officials lauded the report, energy provider RWE, which runs several coal-fired plants, said the 2038 cutoff date would be “way too early.”

Also Read: Australia Rejects U.N. Climate Report, Continues Using Coal

Despite its reputation as a green country, Germany relies heavily on coal for its power needs, partly because of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to phase out nuclear power plants by 2022 in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan.

Coal accounted for more than 30 percent of Germany’s energy mix in 2018 — significantly higher than the figures in most other European countries. (VOA)

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Global Online Music Streaming Platforms Witness 32% Increase in Subscriptions, Spotify Tops With 31% Share

The online music streaming subscription is expected to grow more than 25 per cent (YoY) to exceed 450 million subscriptions by the end of 2020

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Spotify
Spotify topped with 31 per cent share of the total revenue and a 35 per cent share of the total paid subscriptions. Wikimedia Commons

Global online music streaming subscriptions witnessed 32 per cent jump year-on-year (YoY), reaching 358 million subscriptions in 2019, according to a new report.

Spotify topped with 31 per cent share of the total revenue and a 35 per cent share of the total paid subscriptions. Apple Music followed with 24 per cent share of total revenues in the industry and 19 per cent share of the total paid subscriptions, according to the report from Counterpoint Research.

At third place, Amazon Music subscriptions reached 15 per cent share in 2019, compared to 10 per cent in 2018. “Paid subscriptions grew 32 per cent YoY compared to 23 per cent YoY growth of total monthly active users (MAUs). This suggests people are ready to pay for music streaming for a hassle-free experience,” Research Analyst Abhilash Kumar said in a statement.

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However, this is not completely user-driven. “Music streaming platforms are following a two-step approach to gain subscribers, first registering them to their platform as free users by means of excellent advertising campaigns and secondly pitching them with attractive offers to transfer them to become paying subscribers,” Kumar elaborated.

Due to Apple’s high focus on its services segment which includes Apple Music, its subscription base grew 36 per cent YoY in 2019. Despite global players strongly pushing their music streaming platforms, regional players stand strong in their respective regions, said the report. Gaana continues to be the top player in the Indian market while Yandex Music is leading in Russia.

Similarly, Anghami leads the Arab world and Tencent Music Group leads the China market with the help of its apps QQ Music, Kugou and Kuwo.

Amazon
At third place, Amazon Music subscriptions reached 15 per cent share in 2019, compared to 10 per cent in 2018. Wikimedia Commons

On the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the OTT industry, Kumar said: “During this outbreak, audio OTT consumption has switched from music streaming to the radio. People in highly-affected areas are worried about the outbreak and are therefore continuously tuned to news on TV/radio for updates”.

The online music streaming subscription is expected to grow more than 25 per cent (YoY) to exceed 450 million subscriptions by the end of 2020. Meanwhile, more than 80 per cent of music streaming revenue came from paid subscriptions.

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The rest came from advertisements and partnerships with brands and telcos. Therefore, increasing paid subscriptions is of prime importance for music streaming platforms, said the report. (IANS)