Supply and demand are (generally) the biggest, underlying, factors in pricing - however sentiment and speculation can also create big price movements. People have sat and tried to develop alternate fuel sources, in doing so they have developed solar pannels, wind turbines, water turbines, bio-diesel fuels etc... The problem is these things do not produce nearly enough power to meet current demand. Development also takes time and more importantly - money. So creating something that is cheap is almost immediately made impossible. Any country would dream of becoming self sufficient when it comes to energy. If they could do it, they would.