That is cross-platform virtualization and not going to be easy. I tried it multiple times and it only works with stock qemu to some extend. So you may go with a VM with e.g. Debian in it and just virtualize your Pi in there with QEMU. Emulation is as fast as it would be on your host, because it is fully software virtualization nonetheless due to the different architecture. Even if it would all be ARM, there are very different kinds of ARM. It's not like X86 where everything is quite similar.I was wanting to install raspberry pi OS as a VM only to find there is still this gap in compatibility
Then buy better power-efficient X86 hardware. The low-end Intel and AMD are fine, e.g. ODROID-H3+ is a capable machine running with only 12W idle in my homelab with 2x 960 GB Enterprise Samsung SSDs and an intel optane NVMe for SLOG with 64 GB of RAM. Of course you don't have enterprise features like ECC or a management interface, yet it works fine. This is my 3rd low-energy platform after AMD E-350 and Intel J4205.And this is when arm development and inclusion has been blowing up over the last few years due to, among other things, power costs of servers for home labs.