Space elevators are the dream solution to all of humanity's space access problems. It's an idea that many have decried as sci-fi nonsense, but don't tell the engineers at Google X that. Rich DeVaul, head of Google X's Rapid Evaluation team, went on record that Google had indeed looked into the creation of a space elevator.
In fact, DeVaul and his team seem to have whipped up a space elevator design that would, in his words, "take you from ground to orbit with a net of basically zero energy." That's a pretty amazing result.
Unfortunately, since the longest carbon nanotube yet to be constructed is only about a meter long, space is pretty much out for the time being. That being said, once carbon nanotube technology matures (and it'll probably be a while), Google just might defrost its grandiose space elevator plans and give us all that cheap access to orbit that we've been dreaming of.