The last time I posted, I was on my way to Prague. This past weekend was my first visit outside of Germany and I enjoyed every minute. We visited most of the tourist sites, including the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, Petrin Hill, and the Prague Castle. Out of these areas, I’d say my favorite area was Petrin Hill. We took a small incline up the hill and the view of Prague was breathtaking. Additionally, a few of us climbed up the tower and saw an even better view! It reminded me of the time I went all the way up on the Eiffel Tower.
The first day we arrived in Prague, we ate traditional Czech food, a recommendation made by my friend who studied abroad in Prague. My meal consisted of roasted pork in a gravy-like sauce with bread dumplings and sauerkraut. I was satisfied to say the least! However, the rest of our time was spent eating Burrito Loco, Hard Rock Café, and Vietnamese Food. I can’t say we really tried to find other Czech restaurants, but the food we ate was delicious.
Prague was beautiful and well worth the trip, but I missed Berlin while I was there. I was not a fan of Prague’s trams—Berlin’s Ubahn and Sbahn are superior. I also missed the atmosphere and vibrant culture of Berlin.
Yesterday, we all went to Gleisdreieck Park and enjoyed 3 long, competitive games of beach volleyball. I’m positive this will become a weekly event!
On another note, my internship at dena has been going well. I work with two departments—mobility and startups. In mobility, I research Germany’s Pkw-label, which is an ecolabel indicating the CO2 efficiency of a vehicle. I compare this to the U.S. Fuel Economy Label and write reports in tandem with the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. With startups, I focus on the Start Up Energy Award, which highlights startups with innovative technology working towards the energy transition.
These topics are fitting, considering the recent events that have transpired. President Trump has elected the U.S. to withdraw from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement set in 2015. Besides this being one of the worst things to do to the environment and international diplomacy, this will hurt the U.S. economy in the long run. With a green/cleantech market emerging, China and the EU will have the opportunity to take advantage of the void the U.S. has made. They will become innovators and leaders within this area—more jobs will be created, more economic benefits will be reaped. I have been thinking about how this will affect the Start Up Energy Transition Award. Even though the private sector has been moving towards cleantech for years, the decision to cut ties with the Paris Agreement will catalyze efforts to increase the use of energy efficient technologies, renewable energies, and smart energy systems. As a result, I believe the Award will receive way more applications than last year, with last year’s total being 534 from 66 countries. Entrepreneurs and startups will want to show off their technology and capitalize on the emerging market, especially those from the U.S. I’m interested in seeing what the next few years will bring in this field.
This weekend, I’ll be traveling to Dresden for a short day trip and on Sunday I’ll be spending my time at the Carnival of Cultures in Kreuzberg.