Vanadium: The metal that may soon be powering your neighbourhood
[quote= http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-27829874]Hawaii has a problem, one that the whole world is likely to face in the next 10 years. And the solution could be a metal that you've probably never heard of - vanadium. Hawaii's problem is too much sunshine - or rather, too much solar power feeding into its electricity grid. Generating electricity in the remote US state has always been painful. With no fossil fuel deposits of its own, it has to get oil and coal shipped half-way across the Pacific. Historical facts
Vanadium's alloying properties have been known about for well over a century. Henry Ford used it in 1908 to make the body of his Model T stronger and lighter. For the same reasons - and also for its heat resistance - it was used to make portable artillery pieces and body armour in the First World War. But vanadium's history seemingly goes back even further. Indeed, mankind may have been unwittingly exploiting the metal as far back as the 3rd Century BC.