President Barack Obama on Monday provided renewed backing for the US renewables industry.

In the inauguration speech for his second four-year term, Obama said that while the path to a cleaner energy mix was "long and sometimes difficult," those problems were not insurmountable.

Obama said the US must push on with its efforts to build renewable and clean generation. "America cannot resist this transition, we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries, we must claim its promise," he said.

"That's how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure -- our forests and waterways, our crop lands and snow-capped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That's what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared."

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