London’s big Christmas tree powered by fuel cell

This year, Christmas is getting an eco-friendly boost in London. All 648 energy-efficient light bulbs on the massive Christmas tree bedecking Trafalgar Square will be powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell generator in lieu of the traditional fossil-fuel-powered beasts used in years past. Roughly the size of a (European) refrigerator, the generator will silently add hydrogen to oxygen, creating enough energy to power approximately three (European) homes, or, in this case, one 95-foot Norwegian spruce. “The tree is an important part of Christmas in London and the switching on of the lights signifies the start of the festive season,” gushed London’s mayor, Ken Livingstone. Unfortunately, switching on practically any other light in London could be problematic, as the U.K. announced yesterday that it is not on track to meet its Kyoto Protocol targets for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.