Actually, scaling back fuel cell technology to power mobile appliances sounds like a smart path forward. From HuffPo, press releases tout fuel cell batteries geared for laptops.
How far can the scaling go? EE Times recently reported on construction of microscopic (for the buzzword infatuated -- nanotech1) fuel cells, potentially as a basis for on-chip power supplies. However, at this level, fuel cells resemble nothing more than conventional batteries, with the elemental hydrogen-based materials replacing the ionic constituents of today.
1 I listened to the asinine InstaPundit today on the radio, babbling incoherently about his interest in NanoTechnology (the NanoPundit, how fitting). When asked what he thought of current applications of nanotech, he responded "artificial diamonds". What a maroon, I thought -- the difficult yet well-understood synthetic diamond chemical vapor deposition technology had made its mark well before the "nanotech revolution". He said further that the digital revolution dealt with "bits" while the nanotech era starts with "atoms". How pedantically sad. When asked how he can blog so prolifically, he mentioned his abilities as a "fast reader, not quite a page at a time though". I think his ulterior goal remains to clone an army of nanoscale-assembled InstaPundit automatons (microGlenns or uGlenns, for short) who can reproduce billions (i.e. gigaHeh's) of URL links, thereby cementing his place as the ringmaster of the blogging universe.