That said I never liked the all or nothing approach- be it the method of powering the production to location of production. Having houses that help reduce the need for power shipped in from afar sounds great, but so does a few massive solar/wind farms. There is a tipping point between economy of scale and lost in transmission. One thing that was tested and seemed to work out here is co-gen. The local drywall plant gives off massive amounts of steam as part of the process. The local electric company fought for years but finally now accepts electricity made from the waste steam into the grid. by no means a solution to the energy problem but I think part of our problem is we don't see a need to be efficient.
I think that is what President Obama meant by making power cost more- when something is dear we tend to economize as well as look to less spectacular solutions. Scavenging power from waste isn't glamorous, but could be a lot more profitable than bigger and deeper holes in the desert for coal.