MrSeb writes: "If it wasn’t for one, niggling, deal-breaking factor — reliability — alternative, renewable energy sources would probably overtake fossil fuels in terms of commercial viability and desirability. Wind and solar power plants are awesome, cost-effective, infinite-until-the-Sun-burns-out solutions — but when the sun goes in, or the wind dies down, you need a backup power source. Today, that’s fossil and nuclear power — but thanks to a discovery made by Stanford University researchers, we might soon be able to use batteries. Stanford has developed a new, mega-rugged, high-voltage battery cathode, made from copper nanoparticles, that can survive 40,000 charge/discharge cycles — enough for 30 years of use on the grid. If that wasn't enough, the cathode works with an electrolyte that is water-based and "basically free." To make an actual battery, however, the Stanford researchers now need to find a matching low-voltage anode — but they already have some "promising candidates," so here's hoping."