A patrol guard stationed along the Great Wall in Beijing inspects the General Motors Hy-wire, the world's first driveable fuel cell vehicle, making its first appearance in China, on Nov. 14, 2003. Richard Jones/General Motors/AFP/Newscom/File
German technology firm SFC's Smart Fuel Cell AG is seen at their plant in Brunnthal, Germany in 2007. Newscom/File
The Antares DLR-H2 flies its maiden voyage over the northern German city of Hamburg on July 7, 2009. The airplane powered by fuel cells was commissioned by the German Aerospace Centre with the goal of developing fuel cells for a reliable on-board power supply for wide-body airliners. Roland Magunia/AFP/Newscom/File
A General Motors employee demonstrates refueling of GM's new Equinox SUV. On June 26, 2008, Shell opened California's first retail hydrogen car refueling station in West Los Angeles. AMB/Newscom/File
German-Swiss chemist Christian Friedrich Schönbein invented the fuel cell in 1838.
Francis Thomas Bacon (1904-1992) is seen at Cambridge University with a Forty Cell Unit of his own invention, an idea he had worked on since 1932. Zuma/Newscom/File
The world's most environmentally-friendly ship, the Viking Lady, is seen near Copenhagen in Denmark. The Norwegian supply ship is run entirely on fuel cell technology and boasts significantly lower emissions than other ships. The consortium behind the Viking Lady has confirmed the technology to significantly reduce emissions from shipping is already available, and say they welcome tighter regulation of the industry. WENN/Newscom
Rhodospirillum Rubrum bacteria, a red-pigmented spirillum living in stagnant water and mud, is being studied as a continuous biological producer of hydrogen for fuel cells. CMS/Newscom
Nissan's fuel cell car is displayed during the Future Energy Exhibition, part of the World Future Energy Summit, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center on Jan. 18. An Jiang/PTS/Newscom
President of Japanese fuel cell battery venture FC-R and D, Hiroshi Nakajima, demonstrates a prototype model of the humanoid robot 'i-sobot,' powered by a fuel cell battery, at the annual International Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Expo in Tokyo on Feb. 27, 2008. Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom/File
Visitors look at the British Riversimple hydrogen fuel cell car at the British Invention Show in north London on Oct. 17, 2009. Max Nash/AFP/Newscom
A U-787 miss Boeing boat powered by fuel cells is driven by racing legend Chip Hanauer on Aug. 2, 2009 in Seattle. Zuma/Newscom/File
A hydrogen fuel cell-powered car is refueled by the 'TRAIL2TM' Hydrogen Tanker at the H2 Expo Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Fair in Hamburg, Germany on Oct. 22, 2008. Zuma/Newscom/File
Fuel cell-powered vehicles from Toyota Motor Corp, Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. leave the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Tokyo on Nov. 11, 2009, for a nearly-700 mile run to Fukuoka to demonstrate that they can go as far as gasoline-powered cars on a single fueling. Toyota's FCHV-adv, Nissan's X-Trail FCV and Honda's FCX Clarity were used in the event. Newscom
The global economy is entering phase of heightened vulnerability to digital disruption – a threat likened to the US mortgage crisis, which was largely hidden until its dramatic collapse in 2008, a new report warns.