I'm all for research into better technologies, even government-funded research, although I think the money would be better spent in the form of prizes. For example, the government could offer $10B to the first US person or company that builds a battery that has the, size, safety, and energy density of gasoline, with an average lifespan of 10 years (and some other requirements). It only costs the taxpayer if successful. A useful battery would make solar and wind viable.
What about the new Tesla battery that powers your house and that they claim is infinitely scalable? They're pricing it at $3,500 for the 10KWh model.
"Powerwall comes in 10 kWh weekly cycle and 7 kWh daily cycle models. Both are guaranteed for ten years and are sufficient to power most homes during peak evening hours. Multiple batteries may be installed together for homes with greater energy need, up to 90 kWh total for the 10 kWh battery and 63 kWh total for the 7 kWh battery."
This makes solar panels much more viable.