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The power game is much too easy: Power Difficulty could be a simple improvement.

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The basic idea would be to have a difficulty setting, the first level increases building power consumption by 50%, the second level by 100%, so for instance a Metal Refinery would consume 1800 W on medium difficulty, and 2400 W on high difficulty. This would require building much more power generation, using Heavi-watt much more extensively, and turning mildly self-powered builds into power-hungry builds. This would create more of a reason for advanced power generating systems (like petroleum boilers and sour gas condensers) to exist.

At the same time, by having it as a difficulty setting, it wouldn't make the power game brutally difficult for new players.

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Thats not really how difficulty works though.
I get what you are suggesting, increasing the resource cost in order to increase difficulty.
With this however you get a diablo 3 style difficulty increase, where the levels no longer matter.
The same game, same gameplay, just slightly higher numbers.
This image comes to mind: 2d34df7c91d6309bbca837f2c4d8fa2250325d09

A true difficulty setting should alter the gameplay so that previously obtained knowledge will no longer be enough to win.
You`ll have to learn new things and alter your style, improve more.

1. Introduce hostility as a critter trait, not just for Pokeshells.
2. Remove the option for a true vaccum, making it difficult to isolate machines.
3. Make it so dupes cant work in a dark environment, without lights.
4. Limit the positive traits for dupes to just one, while negative traits have to be at least 2.
5. Make it so dupes cant be healed on their own and would die from slimelung unless treated by a doctor dupe.

And on an on

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