Department of Energy Christmas celebrations powered by hydrogen energyDecember 28, 2011
Christmas has come and gone, but many in the alternative energy community are still fixated on the fact that the Department of Energy chose to light its Christmas tree, and many of its other illuminated decorations, with a hydrogen fuel cell. Steven Chu, Secretary of the Department of Energy, has expressed his distaste for hydrogen fuel in the past. Earlier this year, Chu decried hydrogen, claiming that it was not a viable form of alternative energy and would not be so until a major scientific breakthrough. In the later months of the year, Chu began to change his outlook on the energy, after backing several hydrogen-oriented projects in California.
While powering a Christmas tree is a small accomplishment for a fuel cell, it is a major success for the alternative energy community that has been advocating hydrogen energy for some time. The Department of Energy recently adopted a new stance on hydrogen fuel cells, now considering them to be an effective renewable energy source. With this new view, the agency may end up powering more than holiday decorations with fuel cells in the near future.
Hydrogen is growing in popularity with consumers as well. More people are becoming increasingly aware of the existence of fuel cells, due mostly to the efforts of the auto industry. In 2015, consumers will be steeped in a sleuth on new hydrogen-powered vehicles, which will likely further their interest in the alternative energy.