BERLIN, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Only 20.9 percent of Germany's wind power plants were running at full capacity in the first six months (H1) of the year, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) said on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the average capacity utilization of photovoltaic power stations in the country was 10.5 percent and the respective figure for the weather-independent biogas power plants was 56.7 percent.
"For wind power and photovoltaic power plants, the utilization rate fluctuates more strongly due to changing weather conditions than for other technologies," Destatis noted.
Thanks to extreme winds, such as those experienced during a hurricane, months with a capacity of up to 50 percent were recorded for wind energy, whereas certain summer months only saw rates below ten percent, according to Destatis.
Germany has recently ramped up its climate targets and aims to become climate neutral by 2045, five years earlier than previously planned. In order to reduce carbon emissions, renewable sources are expected to provide 65 percent of the country's electricity needs by 2030.
On Thursday, Danish power company Orsted received planning approval for a "particularly large" offshore wind farm with a total capacity of 900 megawatts off the German island of Borkum in the North Sea, according to the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH).
"The high future demand for electricity requires an enormous expansion of wind power and photovoltaics" in Germany, tripling the expansion rate of the past decade, a recent study conducted by the Ariadne project of various research and economic institutes has found.
In order to ensure that the target of keeping global temperature rise to 1.5-degrees Celsius is achieved, Germany must be able to "add at least five gigawatts per year," Hermann Albers, president of the German Wind Energy Association (BWE), told Xinhua on Thursday.
With around 22 percent of total electricity fed into the grid coming from wind power in the first half of the year, the total share of renewable energy in Germany was still only 44 percent, according to Destatis.