Wind, solar, nuclear, algaculture - all have in common the fact that they can give people a degree of independence from the cartels we're currently forced to deal with.
I'm not entirely sure what your viewpoint is, here. Some "We can't change anything so don't bother trying." degree of cynicism?
Since you mentioned solar energy, there are two avenues one can utilize - solar panels and the solar energy industry.
Solar panels are far from affordable. You are assuming that most middle class people own their own houses, which is a declining trend, and even many of them are struggling to make their mortgage payments. Add on the fact that the solar installation process costs $18,000 to $40,000 to purchase, and it is not even a possibility for most (unless one wants to take out yet another loan, which doesn't seem like a great idea).http://www.sunrun.com/solar-lease/cost-of-solar/
However, there is a growing development of a solar power industry. Basically, a company installs solar panels at your residency, and you sign a 10-20 year contract, and pay a company for your energy on a monthly basis. While this is certainly a far more affordable model compared to self-installation, this "solar energy industry" is no different from the oil or coal industry, and does not resolve the lack of independence you mention regarding such energy cartels. However, this definitely creates a more environmentally-friendly energy model, which is great.http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/intelligent-energy/97-of-americans-overestimate-cost-of-installing-solar/
My viewpoint is that it all comes down to money. There are many people in this thread who are very passionate about the health of the environment, and doing things like recycling, lowering their thermostat when they are not home, etc. But many of them would still rather maintain some of their savings rather than invest in solar panels purely for the sake of the environment. And that's very understandable, and I am presuming you would agree that at some point, finances are an issue. Given that understanding, it is no different for politicians or energy cartels - only the scale of money, and perhaps their level of greed. These middle class individuals are talking about saving 100s/1000s of dollars, while big energy is talking about saving millions.
So I'm just being realistic. If you are committed to an environmentally friendly future for Earth, the only way to win is to dramatically increase renewable energy lobby funding. Only other option is to make lobbying illegal as a whole, which is definitely not going to happen anytime soon. If we're taking the increasing renewable energy lobby funding route, the end result will be a cleaner and healthier Earth, but the creation of powerful alternative energy cartels (similar to current oil cartels).
It isn't cynicism, this is why there's no solution in sight for this issue.