The fast-paced development of power systems necessitates smart grids to facilitate real-time control and monitoring with bidirectional communication and electricity flows. Future smart grids are expected to have reliable, efficient, secured, and cost-effective power management with the implementation of distributed architecture. To focus on these requirements, we provide a comprehensive survey on different cloud computing applications for the smart grid architecture, in three different areas - energy management, information management, and security. In these areas, the utility of cloud computing applications is discussed, while giving directions on future opportunities for the development of the smart grid. We also highlight different challenges existing in the conventional smart grid (without cloud application) that can be overcome using cloud. In this survey, we present a synthesized overview of the current state of research on smart grid development. We also identify the current research problems in the areas of cloud-based energy management, information management, and security in smart grid.
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