Smart life and sustainable development: a comparative analysis on energy and water efficiency in China and the EU


  • Ina VIRTOSU University of Macau
  • Chen LI



Sustainability, data center, cooling market, Best practices, Energy Efficiency Directive


Smart life relies on huge volumes of data analysis, which makes data centers become important infrastructure in smart city areas. Nowadays, data centers are constructed in many countries and have become increasingly large electricity consumers. The consumption of electricity is caused not only by the servers of data centers but also by the cooling systems. Meanwhile, data centers also demand water - cooling methods, which result in water consumption. As for sustainable development, water and energy consumption are huge challenges. Laws and rules are necessary for utilizing efficiently relevant sources. This paper will analyze China and the European Union (EU) as two examples of jurisdictions to compare how the governments regulate the construction of data centers to implement the thrift of electricity and water. In China, provinces and cities established diverse regulations based on their different natural and climate conditions, thus there is not a uniform model for the implementation in the country. In the EU, the amendment of Energy Efficiency Directive seeks to establish common policies. The difference of rules in these two jurisdictions reflects that China and the EU have their own principles and objectives: China attempts to balance the demand of developing smart city infrastructures and the consumption on natural resources, but the EU has strong ambition on low carbon emission in the whole Union. However, the two jurisdictions still have a common goal to maximize the efficiency of water and electricity consumption which is a fundamental issue for accelerating the transition towards sustainability.




How to Cite

“Smart life and sustainable development: a comparative analysis on energy and water efficiency in China and the EU”, SCRD, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 19–40, Apr. 2024, doi: 10.25019/m4vxa505.

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