People walking on roof, one carrying solar panel (© AP Images)
Electricians install solar panels on a roof in Goodyear, Arizona. (© AP Images)

Next time you recharge your iPad or turn on a TV in the U.S., you could tap into electricity from wind or solar. These two sources accounted for two-thirds of new power generation in 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

And for the second straight year, the U.S. has invested more in renewable energy projects than those that rely on fossil fuel.

“We are entering the era of renewables,” former Vice President Al Gore said May 5 at the Climate Action 2016 conference in Washington. “It’s a very exciting new reality.”

New technologies have reduced costs for renewable energy so much, they are competing with fossil fuel prices. Wind energy is now the lowest-cost energy source, even without government tax incentives that promote clean energy, the investment firm Lazard recently said.

In places like Texas and the U.S. Midwest, this new environment is dotting the horizon with windmills. Around the country, 48,800 utility-scale wind turbines produce enough electricity to power 20 million homes. Wind power is expected to provide one-fifth of the country’s electricity by 2030, the Energy Department has estimated.

Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley has seen phenomenal growth in his home state of Iowa, where wind now provides one-third of the state’s power. “We’ve seen the economic success story behind renewables up close and personal,” he said.

This article draws on reports from the Associated Press.