Christoph Frei speaks at the conference in Dbayeh, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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As it approaches 2020, Lebanon can no longer afford to consider renewable energy and energy security as secondary issues, Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil said, as he outlined the country's vision for a comprehensive energy policy which aims to set new national goals for renewable energy that are in sync with global efforts to combat climate change.Abi Khalil said that despite the refugee crisis in the country his ministry has not only maintained power production but increased it, adding that the 2 million "Syrian and Palestinian" refugees in the country use up 490 megawatts of power, roughly five extra hours-worth of electrical power a day.Abi Khalil stressed that Lebanon's natural gaseous riches and renewable energy resources will together help move the country toward a cleaner and more efficient means of power generation, which will help set priorities and strategies for the utilization and exportation of natural gas in the future.Addressing the forum was Dr. Christoph Frei, secretary-general of the U.K.-based World Energy Council, who described the three-day forum as "the key regional event" for the region's renewable energy sector with over 600 participants from 40 countries taking part.
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