The National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently issued documents to promote the green and high-quality development of new infrastructure such as data centers and 5G, optimize the layout of data center construction, and require localities to strengthen overall planning and guidance to resolutely avoid the blind and disorderly development of data centers.

As a strategic resource and public infrastructure to support future economic and social development, data centers have become the focus of the current layout throughout the country, preferential policies continue to be tilted, and related investments continue to increase.

However, to build new infrastructure represented by data centers, we must adhere to a scientific layout and intensive development, and we must pay particular attention to following the laws of the market and industry, and avoid using them as a short-term economic stimulus tool. When planning and deploying data centers, relevant departments should take into account the planning of infrastructure such as transportation and energy, and be cautious in launching new large or super-large data centers. All localities should also strengthen overall arrangements for data center construction based on local development, and not blindly pursue short-term development goals and trends.

Scientific layout of the data center, it is necessary to handle the overall and partial relationship. The country launched the “Eastern Data and Western Computing” project to optimize the coordinated development of computing resources in the eastern, central and western regions. There is a certain degree of imbalance between supply and demand in our country’s data centers. Some eastern regions have high application requirements, but high power costs and tight energy consumption indicators. Some western regions cannot effectively undertake the eastern region due to high inter-provincial data transmission costs and small network bandwidth. The overall layout can not only guide the data center to the resource-rich regions in the western region and achieve orderly development, but also encourage these western regions to develop related industries around the data center to achieve transformation and upgrading, and green and low-carbon development.

Data center construction must also take a green and low-carbon road. With the acceleration of the digital transformation and upgrading of various industries, especially the popularization and application of new technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things, the total amount of data in the whole society has exploded important new infrastructure. Behind the surge in data center scale is the continuous increase in energy consumption. Different from traditional energy consumption units, the data center operates 24 hours a day, and the energy consumption problem is more prominent. In particular, compared with traditional high-energy-consuming industries gradually entering a period of stable development, data centers, as the core infrastructure and emerging industries that carry data, will continue to accelerate their energy consumption and carbon emissions as business expands. Data centers have become the most critical link in energy conservation and consumption reduction of new infrastructure. Under the background of “dual carbon”, it is urgent to develop towards green, intensive, and intelligent development.

Although new infrastructure such as data centers is a big energy consumer, it is also a key support for the development of our country’s digital economy. Emission reduction must also be developed. It is necessary to speed up technological innovation and model innovation by strengthening the synergy between data, computing power and energy to achieve green and high-quality development. On the one hand, newly-built data centers must raise thresholds and standards to improve computing power and energy efficiency; on the other hand, existing data centers must reduce energy consumption and improve energy-saving levels through technological transformation. Among them, co-construction and sharing is a model worth promoting. Facts have proved that 5G co-construction and sharing can not only accelerate 5G network coverage, but also greatly save investment and maintenance costs. Data center construction can also use this model, which will not only effectively promote energy conservation and emission reduction, but also avoid duplication of construction and waste of resources, break the current disconnection of many data centers, and improve the level of intensification.