In 2004, in London’s Trafalgar Square the first hydrogen fuel cell powered Christmas tree went online for the holiday season. In 2006, in the same location the Crib lights were powered by fuel cell.
Also, in 2006 in Sacramento, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver lit the first U. S. fuel cell Christmas tree. This tradition was followed in 2007 and in 2008 as well. The lighting of the tree this year was on December 9, 2008.
The 50-foot tree has 9,500 (6,500 according to some sources) low wattage light bulbs and half of the 3,000 ornaments on the tree were made by Californians with developmental disabilities. The fuel cell lighting the tree was made by Altergy Systems of Folsom, CA and the hydrogen is being supplied by Air Products.
But, the US and UK aren’t the only ones lighting up the fuel cell trees this year as Spain has decided that it too will play in these reindeer games. By lighting up a fuel cell Christmas tree at Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands (pictured), Spain is but the third country in the world to do so.
The hydrogen fuel cell Christmas tree near the Cathedral of Las Palmas stands 30-feet tall and is adorned with energy efficient LED lights. This “green” Christmas tree will save 1,440 Kg of Co2 with its energy saving efforts.
Of course cutting down one of natures solar panels (a tree) and then lighting it back up may stir a debate in some. But, since this is the Holiday season, remember to be kind, rewind, and save time for the important things in life. That includes picking your battles.