Donald R. Sadoway, an MIT Professor, spent 6 years looking into how to radically change the cost equation for batteries, knowing that without wide-scale battery deployment sustainable power sources such as solar and wind will not reach their potential. Instead of trying to improve current battery technology, he changed the equation by looking for batteries that can literally be made from dirt.
He and a small team at MIT created a “liquid metal” battery, made from Magnesium and Antimony, that can be deployed at scale and is cost competitive with carbon fuels. They have since formed a company Liquid Metal Battery Corporation.
For more, see the LMBC website. Or listen to Dr Sadoway’s talk at the TED conference. It’s quite impressive