Spain has an average elevation of 660 m. The dominant landform on the mainland is the Meseta, a broad plateau that occupies the central 40% of the nation. The Cantabrian Mountains form the northern edge of the Meseta. To the northwest rise the hills and mountains of Leon and Galicia, and to the west, rise the broken uplands of Estremadura that separate Spain from Portugal. The southern edge is formed by the Sierra Morena. To the east, are the northwest-southeast trending Iberian Mountains. To the north of the Meseta and its mountain rim are the Basque region and the Pyrenees, which mark the border with France and reach 3,404 m in Aneto Peak. To the south are the snowcapped Sierra Nevada and other ranges of the Betic Cordillera that stretch from Gibraltar to near Alicante and reappear offshore in the Balearic Islands. The two principal lowlands are the Ebro Basin, and the Guadalquivir (or Andalusian) Basin.
Spain has three temperate types of climate. Mild, humid conditions, typical of the northwest European type of climate, prevail in the northwest, north, Pyrenees, and Central Mountains. A Mediterranean type of climate, with mild temperatures and summer drought lasting from two to five months, prevails along the Mediterranean littoral, in Andalusia, and in the Balearic Islands. A continental variant of the Mediterranean climate, with sporadic rainfall, cold winters, and hot summers, occurs in the northern Meseta, Ebro Basin, and other inland areas. Relative sunshine duration is higher than 60% in most of the country. However, to the north, at the Cantabrian Mountains and Pyrenees, relative sunshine duration presents lower values of 50 and 40% and in some places even below 40%.
The Spanish have long tended to live in defensible urban centers rather than scattered on the land. Rapid urbanization, however, did not take place until more recently than in the rest of Europe. Approximately 75% of the population lived in urban areas in 1980. In 1953, only 53% of the population was urban. The two largest cities, each with well over 1 million inhabitants, are Madrid and Barcelona. Other large cities are Valencia, Sevilla, Bilbao, Malaga, and Las Palmas. Population densities in Spain are generally lower than in most other parts of Europe. The most sparsely populated areas are Guadalajara and barren Teruel. Total population is 39,181,114 (World Factbook, July 1996 est.).
Stations from the IDMP Network measure both daylight and solar radiation.

IDMP Network/Madrid

Lat.: 40°17' N
Long.: 4°25' W
Height above sea level: 595 m

Alfonso Soler / Pilar Oteiza
Departamento de Física
Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura
Avenida Juan de Herrera
n.4 28040 Madrid, Spain
Tel: +34 13366542, +34 13366569
Fax: +34 15442481

Clock Time: GMT+1. Summer time shift (GMT+2), from last Sunday in March,
to Saturday before last Sunday in October.

  1. "Ordenanza General de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo". Arts 25 y siguientes relativos a iluminación natural y artificial. ("General Regulations on Safety and Hygiene in the Working Place").

  2. "Norma Tecnológica de la Edificación" NTE-IEI-1975 Instalaciones de Electricidad. Iluminación. ("Norms for Building Construction").

  3. "Reglamento Electrotécnico para Baja Tensión". (Decreto 2413/1973) y su Instrucción Técnica Complementaria MI BT 025 sobre Instalaciones en locales de pública concurrencia. (Alumbrados especiales de emergencia, de senlización y de reemplazamiento). ("Regulations on Low Voltage Installation").
  1. "Notas para una climatologia de "- Serie K. Instituto Nacional de Meteorologia (INM). Madrid. ("Notes for a climatology of " - Serie K. INM. Madrid). Series of documents presenting averages of common meteorological data concerning sunshine duration, nebulosity, precipitation, air temperature and humidity, wind direction and speed, etc…for 65 sites in Continental Spain and in Baleares and Canaries Islands. Each document concerns one site.

  2. "Atlas de la radiación solar en Espana". INM. Madrid. 1984. ("Atlas of the solar radiation in Spain". INM. Madrid. 1984). The Atlas contains maps representing average daily sunshine duration values and average daily sums of global solar radiation for each month and for the whole year. Average maximum and minimum daily sums of global solar radiation recorded in June and December are also presented.

  3. "Atlas climatico de Espana". INM. Madrid. 1983. ("Climatic atlas of Spain". INM. Madrid. 1983). The Atlas contains maps representing averages of common meteorological data for each month, for the whole year or for each season.
Comité español de iluminaciòn
Secretarìa (SERCOBE)
Calle de Jorge Juan, 47
28001 Madrid
Tel: +341 435 72 40
Fax: +341 577 09 10
CIE on the Internet.


More information is available at Amadeus or the Electric Library

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