many people who rely on solar power have to have gas or diesel generators to charge their batteries on cloudy days. with the price of fuel being what it is i think power from the grid is way cheaper.
In general, I agree. Alternatives require a large investment up-front, with amortization and depreciation it may be possible to break even after a period of years. But it depends on the site.
When I was a stamp collector, I had one US stamp that celebrated the rural electrification administration. I have heard that 20-30 years ago, it was cost effective to string 5 or 10 miles of electrical line to a new farm, but that has steadily shrunk. Today, if it is more than 2 or 3 miles of line needed to connect, it may be cheaper to go with alternatives. In the future ...
I guess the real question is why go with something other than the grid. If you absolutely need a backup source of power (for medical or other reasons), then something is needed. If you want to become independent, you can't do that by depending on the local utility. If you are concerned about global warming, then you want to use wind or solar. If you think society is going to fall apart, then you wouldn't want to count on the utility company long-term. Here, hurricanes are the big recognized threat, but for my budget, alternatives mean rechargeable batteries, extra propane cylinders and firewood, and a tank of gasoline so I don't forget what air-conditioning is.