Yes, I know that battery technology isn't quite there yet, a tall water tower for every house or neighbourhood is impractical, and the whole flywheel-in-a-vacuum-can concept hasn't yet lived up to its promise. But really, we NEED to start moving away from 'the grid' as the primary power distribution system. Such a move would hasten the development of viable, economical energy storage methods; incidentally, it would also make moot the arguments about feeding power from household solar panels to the local electrical utility.
The grid is OK as a fallback position, and to provide power to heavy industry because local power storage on that scale probably won't be practical for a long while yet. But the only way we're going to have a resilient system that isn't prone to a large portion of the continent's electricity supply being taken down by an ice storm, (or, God forbid, a terrorist attack), is to start de-centralizing power production and distribution. Yes, there are technical hurdles, but we can get over them. I am less sure that we can get past the entrenched business interests fighting that kind of disruption with all of the resources at their disposal, including the money we pay them.