November 7, 2004 While fuel cell automobiles promise reduced emissions on land, the high seas have long enjoyed a virtual amnesty from air emission regulations. There is no effective way to regulate pollution emmissions from ships, yet the fuel cell has a bright future under the water as the best alternative to nuclear energy. The fuel cell has many advantages for submarines, the most compelling being that of completely silent running. A fuel cell submarine such as the new 212 and 214 from HDW can lurk beneath the waves invisibly for three weeks at a time. Unlike other non-nuclear submarine variants such as gas turbine and diesel engines, fuel cells can also be distributed throughout a ship for increased design flexibility, which in turn reduces shipbuilding costs. The company that makes this new monster also made the world's first wartime submarine, and is now offering retrofits.