Going solar is cheaper now by far than when I went off grid in '97. To me, the whole idea of the huge grid is wrong, a waste of money, and an incredible eyesore. Grid tie systems are more expensive, and you get ripped off by the power company.
Panels are cheaper at $1.85 or less. Good sinewave inverter/battery chargers are less expensive. The best thing for storage is now the more expensive but 25 year lasting NiFe batteries. I just changed my L-16 banks, and wish it were possible to fit the Iron Edison batteries into the same space. In my particular situation I custom built a shed with batteries on the bottom, vented and weather stripped from the compartment on top carrying inverters and the charge control center. It was designed around the size of the L 16 banks and inverters and power control center, which is narrower by 6 inches than I would need for the NiFe banks.
Those going solar now can take advantage of the lower prices on panels and sinewave inverter/chargers, and go with the long lasting NiFe battery banks. Of course, DIY is still mandatory if you want the system to pay for itself anytime soon.http://ironedison.com/
In the case of local grids to get power from wind or tidal/wave generators, battery banks in individual houses and businesses could be used. In the case of small modular GenIV nuclear reactors, no battery storage would be needed for a mini-grid. The same for a mini-grid powered by a dam or steady tidal source.
Recycling of the materials used for the old tech super grid can eliminate the need for more mining and ore processing, with their CO2 emissions. The miners and ore processors would become recyclers instead. The steel could go to NiFe batteries. The copper, and aluminum could go for panels frames and mounts, or smaller turbine blades and housings, and the copper to new mini-grid wiring. The entire grid system going to independent systems or mini-grids, some needing storage capacity, some not. Emissions going to zero for power generation in the world.