Tirol-Adria Ltd.: Tyrol-Adriatic Sea hydropower stations, Danube-Tyrol-Adriatic Sea-Waterway, Maglev Train.High-Voltage-DC-feed conduit

Project C

Concept “River-Room-Recreation”, renewable energies, E-mobility

Canopy-shaped PV roofing for Rivers, Roads and Freeways in order to generate electricity to use directly for e-mobility on Freeways, Roads and Waterways, equipped with overhead lines for electric powered vehicles. The canal tunnels between the Inn and the Adige and the bearer frame of the roofing of rivers and freeways offers also the possibility for further use of a suspension light-weight cable railway.

"River Basin Management" - "River Room Recreation" - Renewable Energy Sources - Electric Mobility

1. "River Basin Management" - "River Room Recreation"
1.1 Flood Control
1.2 Expanding River Sections to Waterways (Download PDF)
1.3 Aquacultures
1.4 Development of Living, Recreational and Leisure Space at the Waterside
1.5 Redevelopment of New Available Areas in the Abandoned River Basin

2. Renewable Energy Sources
2.1 Photovoltaic – PV (Download PDF)
2.2 Wind Turbines
2.3 Hydropower Stations at the Weirs (Download PDF)
2.4 Electricity for the Use of Electric Powered Vehicles

3. Electromobility
3.1 Monorail overhead conveyors
3.2 Traffic management and power regulation system

4. Synergies / costs
4.1. Lines located along the motorways - distance from residential areas
4.2. Carrier cables for overhead rail tracks - bearing the PV foil covering
4.3. Automation of the motorway and the overhead conveyor route
4.4. Reliving the roads increases the quality of life
4.5. Use of local energy sources
4.6. Short construction time
4.7. Construction costs
4.8. Donau-Tirol-Adria ship passage and the monorail overhead conveyor
4.9. The earthquakes in Italy
4.10. Financially troubled Mediterranean countries

5. Outlook
5.1. Congo-Mediterranean Sea canal
5.2. Sib-Aral-Kasp canal - global warming
5.3. Connecting the African and Eurasian continents
5.4. Feasibility
5.5. Appeal


The expected consequences of climatic change, the economic and financial crisis and the employment market situation demand extending the Tyrol-Adriatic Project to the sectors of flood prevention, renewable energies, environment, traffic and others.


The shallow sections of River Adige – North-East Italy’s longest stream – come very close to the main ridge of the Alps. The river thus makes a possible waterway between the Adriatic region and Danube. Project B presents the connections between European inland waterways and the Adriatic Sea. In order to make rivers navigable, it is crucial to regulate their high and low tides.

During the snow melt and autumn rain periods, the rivers Isonzo, Torre, Natisone, Tagliamento, Degano, But, Fella, Meduna, Cellina, Livenza, Piave, and Brenta are usually in flood and thus feature very broad riverbeds (partly of several kilometers width). However, in dry periods the respective rivers carry only little water (also as a result of draining for power stations and irrigation purposes) and are in parts even dry due to water loss caused by leaching. Riverside communities as well as the partly densely populated regions in the lowlands suffer from being permanently exposed to this flood hazard. Therefore, projects that aim at banning the respective risk are given priority.

The extraordinarily wide river areas require comprehensive river basin management. In this course, areas becoming available may be deployed for new utilization purposes. The use of hydro power and solar energy for power generation is potential to be exploited within the course of the river basin area’s restructuring.


1.1 Flood Control

1.1.1 Quick water evacuation in the event of flood threatens communities located at the lower reaches and additionally impedes shipping. On some upper reaches (e.g. on River Cellina) storage reservoirs that have the potential to retain water were built. Within the river courses, up to 6 meter high inflatable weirs serve to dam the water to a number of impounding reservoirs, edged by embankments. The width of new river beds depends on the respective river’s profile at the lower reaches.

1.1.2 The respective top impoundment is to be designed as retention and collecting basin that serves to retain larger water volumes as well as sand, gravel and flotsam and thus reduce the water’s destructive powers. In order to realize this, the impoundment ids continuously cleared by a wire rope conveyor mechanism. Additionally, the bottom basin is also designed for larger water quantities in order to be able to stop the turbine/generator units installed at the respective weirs or to allow their function as reversely running pumps that transport the water back to next top basin in the event of excess power supply.

1.1.3 At suitable places, areas for flood control will be used as so-called polders. In order to facilitate this flood control system, the respective areas will be structured as terraces. In the event of flood hazards, a controlled amount of water can be directed to respectively designated spots and – by partially elevating the water level – flow into the polders.

1.2 Expanding River Sections to Waterways

1.2.1 By equipping weirs with ship locks, electrically operated ships can also navigate rivers used as waterways all the way to important business locations in the valley. This applies e.g. to Merano at the River Adige, Goerz at Isonzo River, Ponte al Tagliamento, Nervese della Battaglia at Piave River or Bassano del Grappa at Brenta River.

1.2.2 Ship locks: the ship lock of 112 m or 224 m length and 12 m width will be erected right in the river’s bed with as sealed sheet pile walls, which are horizontally supported in direction of the respective river bank’s crest. The support structure’s watertight sheathing creates an air cushion, which – being covered by floor slabs – turns into a walkable and trafficable surface floating on the headwater. Each ship lock provides the option for a bridge to the other side that allows for crossing the river. The ship lock’s locking components will be opened in the event of flood in order to allow the water’s unimpeded drain via the lock, which does thus not constitute any obstacle or constriction to the river’s profile.

Navigation lock - site plan

1.2.3 Inside the lock, the water level is lifted or lowerred by means of pump turbines that pump retained headwater in or out through the channels flowing in at the sides.

Navigation lock with PV-Roofing

1.2.4 Padova-Mare Waterway: in this context, it is intended to intergrate currently incomplete Padova-Mare Waterway with the inland waterway of Brenta River, equip it with a PV cover for power generation and open it for ship traffic.

Navigation lock with PV-Roofing

1.3 Aquacultures

1.3.1 Within the respective impoundments, the volume of water will be – compared to the current level – increased many times over especially with respect to residual water ways. Given the present water quality, this will create good conditions for aquacultures, in particular for pisciculture. Since different species and sizes of fish will be kept in separate impoundments, fish migration is undesirable; a fish pass is thus not required. If necessary, the system facilitates a practicable crossing.

1.3.2 In a time of the seas suffering from overfishing, this new industrial sector (pisciculture in ecological river systems) globally faces a promising future. It is thus promoted by both, the Italian Republic as well as the EU. The Act No. 57 as from 03/05/2001 aims at supporting rural development and employment in the sectors of farming and pisciculture (aquaculture) and enhancing environmental protection and landscape conservation.

1.4 Development of Living, Recreational and Leisure Space at the Waterside

1.4.1 In the river basin, larger areas of water will be created to improve the scenery and – due to the increased evaporation rate – additionally ensure more pleasant climatic conditions. In the cities and other communities located at the waterside, the river will be given a new appearance: while the river bed was previously nearly empty due to draining or – depending on peak power generation - at times and certain sections nearly empty or filled with roaring masses of water, the river will now spread a peaceful atmosphere.
1.4.2 This newly found situation as waterside city or community will ensure the emergence of aquatic facilities for water sports, fishing spots at the riverside and recreational areas at suitable places. At the inflatable weirs, passages (slides) for boats might be set up.

1.4.3 Both, the aquacultures as well as the river basin’s development into living, recreational and leisure waterside space will open new perspectives for the inhabitants’ lives, activities and economic situation.

1.5 Redevelopment of New Available Areas in the Abandoned River Basin

Areas formerly occupied by the river and now becoming available – located outside the newly created river bed – will be used for new purposes such as for instance:

1.5.1 Transport Routes
It is intended to build traffic lanes for motor traffic, bikeways and footpaths on the embankments at both sides of the river. These will be connected to the traffic routes existing in the communities located at the waterside. One lane into each direction might be adapted for the use of electric powered vehicles.

1.5.2 Cultivated Agricultural Areas
More than 10,000 ha of abandoned areas in the river basin will be used for agricultural purposes such as rice growing. Depending on respective cultures grown thereon (tomatoes), they might also be roofed and used for PV power generation. The respective areas’ irrigation should be realized by installing efficient and yet water-saving systems.

1.5.3 Theme and Recreational Parks, Sports Facilities, Tourist Facilities

1.5.4 Animal Reserves

1.5.5 Green Pastures
This allows for transforming the rocky and sandy deserts in said North-East Italian river valleys (that can even be seen from outer space) to “green pastures” – in order to quote former German chancellor Kohl’s comment on the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In times of agricultural land shortage, desert landscapes along riversides are nonsense.

The presented concept for river basin management can be appropriately summarized by using the term “River-Room-Recreation" (“RRR” in short).

1.5.6 The restructuring and cultivation of respective riverside areas also includes the utilization of renewable energy sources.


2.1 Photovoltaic – PV

2.1.1 Canopy-Shaped PV Roofing for Rivers and Channels
Rivers and shipping channels are supposed to be covered with solar film that is affixed to span roof-shaped steel framework structures. The bearer frame’s supports will be piled in on both riversides and – with rather broad rivers – additionally in the river bed. The membrane roof is intended to feature a slope of 45 degrees and laterally stop at a height of 5 meters in order to ensure the snow’s safe skidding into the river and unhindered view onto the water.

Rivers are continuous spaces (corridors), which makes perfectly suitable for pipeline routes.

The membrane covering’s bearer frame might accommodate
- power lines for various voltage levels;
- supply and overhead lines for inland vessels powered by electricity; and
- lanes for overhead tracks.

  • Danube-Tyrol-Adriatic Waterway – Project B

If the waterways on the Rivers Inn and Adige, from Passau at River Danube all the way to Venice, were roofed with film on a length of Adige 620 km (in the open), this would result in a film-covered surface of 62,000,000 m² (620,000 m length x 100 m width).
Assuming from a rate of 100 kWh/m², this will result in a nuclear power station’s annual output of 6,200,000,000 kWh or

  • an annual output of 10,000,000 kWh per km of waterway.

2.1.2 PV Roofing for Roads and Freeways

Freeway with PV-Roofing

It is furthermore intended to also cover roads and freeways with PV film in order generated solar energy. Suchlike roofing would be realized in the form described above.

  • per each kilometer of road 1,200,000 kWh and
  • per each kilometer of freeway 4,400,000 kWh of electricity could thus be generated per year.

Freeway with PV-Roofing Power Lines
Underneath said covering, power lines for various voltage levels as well as one overhead line for electric vehicles per each direction could run. Positive Side Effects of PV Roofing or PV Canopy:

  • snow-free traffic lanes;
  • no formation of ice or hoarfrost;
  • no snow clearance, no use of de-icing salt or winter road sand required;
  • longer pavement life;
  • possible noise reduction;
  • unhindered view to both sides of the road.

2.1.3 PV Roofing for Sports Stadiums, Intensely-Used Agricultural Land or Wherever Roofing Facilitates Multiple Use

2.1.4 PV Elements Floating on Water Surfaces e.g. Uncovered Reservoirs.

2.2 Wind Turbines

In order to utilize the updraft created by the air heated underneath the roofing, wind turbines will be installed horizontally in the roofing’s gables. However, since respective empirical values are not available, their output cannot be estimated.

2.3 Hydropower Stations at the Weirs

Power plant in the river

2.3.1 At the individual weirs, sub-aqueous turbine generator units will be installed to generate electricity by using the available water and differential. Running reversely (thrust reversal), these units serve to pump to the respectively next higher basin and – in the event of excess supply – take electricity from the mains and save it as renewable energy.

2.3.2 In order to compensate production and consumption capacities, high-pressure pump storage hydro power stations will additionally be built in order to especially compensate output peaks and to optimize the electric current’s transport through the power line network.

2.4 Electricity for the Use of Electric Powered Vehicles

The plants for power generation and transport are positioned alongside said main traffic routes (waterways, railway, freeway, national and federal roads, bikeways) and are thus ideal to:

2.4.1 feed the grid for electrified lanes on freeways, roads and waterways;

2.4.2 directly operate high-performance quick charging stations for electric powered vehicles, provided at roadhouses and parking areas (Park & Charge).
2.4.3 Furthermore, the electricity might be fed into the railway supply system since the power station will be built in its direct proximity.


Two traffic arteries run through the AlpenKanalTunnel:
- The Donau-Tirol-Adria waterway and in the tunnel arch the
- Monorail overhead conveyors – Munich-Innsbruck-Verona, as well as
- power and data lines.

This leads to the realisation that transportation paths and waterways are suitable as continuous corridors for intensive and multiple use and therefore should be used.

3.1 Monorail overhead conveyors

Photovoltaic covering of motorways and roads as well as waterways
- for power generation
- for the mounting of the multifunctional rail as a transport, power and guide rail and
- for the housing of power and data lines, which in turn act as carriers for the PV covering and the multifunctional rail.

3.1.1 At least one lane in each travel direction will be equipped with an overhead line for an electrical vehicle. The overhead line will be a multifunctional rail with an integrated continuous or alternating current line and conductive track at a height of 5 m.

3.1.2. Trolleys with a lift roll above the 1st lane For the suspended transport of people and goods in cabs, containers (<10 t), etc. For towing and controlling vehicles without their own drive (trailers) for loads that cannot be hung for transport or for diesel lorries during a period of transition For the transfer of power and control data to e-vehicles.
Battery-operated vehicles can be charged during travel, For operating a high-speed monorail overhead conveyor – Aerobus above the (last) passing lane.
In the case of a 2-lane road, the rail for the possible high-speed monorail overhead conveyor would run at the top approx. 7.5 metres below the PV covering.

3.1.3 The monorail overhead conveyor system permits groundbreaking applications. It is the road itself that provides electricity to the passenger and goods traffic on the rails! This is made possible by the special type of multifunctional rail instead of an electrical overhead line and the very flat undercarriage (trolleys with lift)

HB Multifunktionsautobahn

HB Lateral Gleichstrom

3.1.4. This Aerobus cabs are designed in this case to be very flat and up to 2 m high and 3 m wide, so that the underlying rail permits driving lorries with a height of up to 2.5 without limitations.

3.1.5. The aerodynamic shape of the overhead conveyor causes the pressure on the undercarriage and the rail to decrease as the speed increases, giving passengers the feeling they are flying.

3.1.6. For tall heavy-duty vehicles, it is not reasonable to use the passing lane, therefore the respective traffic route will also be improved due to electronic control as regarding driving safety, environmental influences and performance.

3.1.7. The first lane will be used by the overhead conveyor and road vehicles, whereby lorries with a height of up to 2 m and the overhead conveyor will not limit each other.

3.1.8. Due to electrification, environmental damage due to exhaust gases will be eliminated and noise pollution will be reduced.

3.1.9. In the future, the vehicles should be driven only by electricity due to the multiple advantages (efficiency). Heavy e-vehicles will still be equipped with a compact power generator which ensures a power supply along routes that are not electrified.

3.2 Traffic management and power regulation system:

3.2.1 The multifunctional rail should also integrate a guidance and monitoring system that permits automated driving, which considerably increases driving safety and the performance of the motorway.

3.2.2 Every electrically operated bus or lorry that takes power from the overhead line on the electrified roads is equipped for driving on non-electrified routes with a power generator with power of approx. 200 kWel or - in the future - with a more powerful battery. This can be put into operation by the power regulation system within seconds and any overcurrent can be returned to the mains via the same overhead line, turning an electricity consumer into an electricity provider. 10,000 lorries (in comparison: 6,000 lorries drive through the Brenner Pass every day) can provide the power of 2 nuclear power plants, i.e. 2,000,000 kW and therefore support the power network. For example a local overload of the power network could be counteracted by the activation of ancillary equipment or the battery of electric vehicles in the concerned area.

3.2.3. The electrification and automation of traffic is already possible today with existing technology.

4. Synergies / costs:

4.1. Power supply lines are located along the motorways and therefore are at a sufficient distance from residential areas;

4.2. Power supply lines also act as carrier cables for overhead rail tracks or as isolated power cable for bearing the PV foil covering;

4.3. The automation (electronic control) of the motorway and the overhead conveyor route is made possible by these new structures and not only permits safer driving and reduced operat-ing costs, but also allows an increased and more environmental friendly throughput of passen-ger and goods transport.

4.4. Reliving the roads increases the quality of life

4.5. Use of local energy sources: The drive energy is generated in a renewable manner from the PV covering and in the hy-dropower plants along the traffic arteries and then made available.

4.6. Short construction time: This plant can be constructed without greatly disturbing the surrounding area. The compo-nents will be delivered already prefabricated and installed and commissioned on site.

4.7. Construction costs: The costs of the monorail overhead conveyor in comparison to a traditional railway can be re-duced by much more than half and when the synergies are used optimally, the costs can be reduced to approx. 1/10 of the costs in comparison to an Italian high speed railway = approx. 5-6 million €/km.

4.8. The Donau-Tirol-Adria ship passage and the monorail overhead conveyor will allow Europe to save many billions of Euros in expensive projects, including the high-speed lines such as the BBT. as we have also realised that mixed traffic will not be possible, or freight transport does not make sense along such routes, and therefore we cannot expect any relief for the motorways!! The required access routes to the Brenner base tunnel would therefore also not be necessary.

4.9. The earthquakes in Italy also create doubt regarding the safety of the “TAV”. Should billions be invested in high-speed trains, when the overhead conveyor system is much safer as derailing is not possible - and for a mountainous country such as Italy, it is much more suitable and also has the advantages indicated above.

4.10. The most important aspect of the canal through the Alps is that financially troubled Mediterranean countries would get closer to Europe and Europe would be closer to the Mediterranean, which would valorise Europe as a business location and create new perspectives. This would lead to a European wide shift to inland and coastal vessels and to the monorail overhead conveyor system, thereby leading to great savings in time and energy.

5. Outlook:

On the basis of the Tirol-Adria project, it would be possible to unite the “Transaqua”, “Interafrica” (Congo-Chad-Libya water transfer) and “Desertec”, the solar power bridge to Europe, creating the

5.1. Congo-Mediterranean Sea canal

By diverting approx. 3,000 m³/s (a second Nile) from Ubangi, the largest tributary on the right side of the Congo, would create a navigable waterway through the desert, which would directly involve only 3 countries: Central Africa, Chad and Libya. Lake Chad could revert back to its original condition, the provision of water for the "Great Man-Made River" could be ensured also for the future and desert could be transformed into fertile land.

The PV covering of the waterway prevents evaporation and provides power for the pumping stations, for local use and for feeding to the lines that can be installed due to the covering.

- The covered waterways permit the installation of a fast monorail overhead conveyor- (Wuppertal suspension railway) as well as a power rail for the electric operation of inland vessels. A great step in the direction of electromobility!

5.2. Sib-Aral-Kasp canal - global warming

This plan (Dawydow Plan) for diverting approx. 500 km³ of water per year (500,000,000,000 m³ per year = 16,000 m³ per second) that flows from the south to the north, through Siberia to the Arctic Ocean in the Ob/Irtysch and Jenissei rivers to the arid south, to the Aral Sea that is running dry, would have great impacts on limiting global warming. This water, which is on average 10° C warmer, would no longer flow to the -1.6° to -1.9° C cold Arctic Ocean, rather to the warmer yet dry south and be used for cultivation, and more indirectly for a more comfortable climate. A multiple effect!
The Arctic Ocean would receive approx. 5,000 TWh (terawatt hours) (5,000,000,000,000 kWh) less of thermal energy, (basis: 1 kWh heats up 1 m³ of water by 1°C), which corresponds to the yearly power production of 625 atomic power plants or 1,000 times the power production of South Tyrol.
The example of oil production in Saudi Arabia: The heat released by the combustion of 70 % of produced oil (approx. 1,800,000 m³ daily = 20,800 litres – a full tanker - every second) would approximately equal this amount of heat!
A waterway with power and gas lines that can be navigated all year long and a modern high-speed overhead conveyor to the Caspian Sea and to the Mediterranean would make resource-rich Siberia more accessible and bring the economic areas around the Mediterranean sea closer.

5.3. Connecting the African and Eurasian continents in the Mediterranean Sea!

The power lines and the monorail overhead conveyor could be continued along motorway or road coverings from the Mediterranean Sea ports at the mouth of the canal from Sirte in Libya to the straights between Tunisia and Sicily and bridge the Mediterranean Sea on pontoons, thereby connecting the African and Eurasian continents in the Mediterranean Sea. The rails of the overhead conveyor would cross the canal from Sicily and the Straight of Messina hanging from the high-voltage line (Africa-Europe solar power bridge), as can be seen in this impressive video!

This means creating access to the large, hardly accessible area between Congo to the Mediterranean Sea, providing a direct connection for the navigable rivers of the Congo Basin and Siberia to the Mediterranean Sea, and therefore to Europe. These works that connect continents would be able to open up new perspectives for African populations and therefore stop the stream of refugees!

5.4. Feasibility

To eliminate any doubt about the feasibility of the Congo-Mediterranean Sea canal, I would like to give a simple example:
Saudi Arabia produces 11,700,000 barrels of oil per day, which corresponds to a daily delivery rate of 1,800,000 m³.
One kilometre of a channel that is 100 m wide and 10 m deep corresponds to an excavation of 1,000,000 m³ and in comparison it would be possible to excavate 1.8 km of canal every day, 500 km a year and the entire 3,000 km long channel in 6 years! Besides, modern technology can still revolutionise canalisation.

5.5. Appeal

I think the time has come to convert tanks into excavators! Therefore I am making the appeal to make this large project into a concern for all of humanity and to implement it before the water of the Congo is only used as an energy source in the largest power plant in the world at the outflow to the Atlantic Ocean, as the entire area north of the Congo is longing for water and the consequences of global warming are becoming increasingly evident.
PS: The plans created by the South Tyrolean Alois Negrelli for the Suez Canal were implemented decades later by Lesseps!
We do not have that much time!

Project Ideator & Manager: Albert Mairhofer
As of May 2019

Tirol-Adria KG des Albert Mairhofer & Co. - 39030 Gsies – Valle di Casies BZ - Italy | Cookies