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Microgrids have recently emerged as a building block for smart grids combining distributed renewable energy sources (RESs), energy storage devices, and load management methodologies. The intermittent nature of RESs brings several challenges to the smart microgrids, such as reliability, power quality, and balance between supply and demand. Thus, forecasting power generation from RESs, such as wind turbines and solar panels, is becoming essential for the efficient and perpetual operations of the power grid and it also helps in attaining optimal utilization of RESs. Energy demand forecasting is also an integral part of smart microgrids that helps in planning the power generation and energy trading with commercial grid. Machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) based models are promising solutions for predicting consumers’ demands and energy generations from RESs. In this context, this manuscript provides a comprehensive survey of the existing DL-based approaches, which are developed for power forecasting of wind turbines and solar panels as well as electric power load forecasting. It also discusses the datasets used to train and test the different DL-based prediction models, enabling future researchers to identify appropriate datasets to use in their work. Even though there are a few related surveys regarding energy management in smart grid applications, they are focused on a specific production application such as either solar or wind. Moreover, none of the surveys review the forecasting schemes for production and load side simultaneously. Finally, previous surveys do not consider the datasets used for forecasting despite their significance in DL-based forecasting approaches. Hence, our survey work is intrinsically different due to its data centered view, along with presenting DL-based applications for load and energy generation forecasting in both residential and commercial sectors. The comparison of different DL approaches discussed in this manuscript reveals that the efficiency of such forecasting methods is highly dependent on the amount of the historical data and thus a large number of data storage devices and high processing power devices are required to deal with big data. Finally, this study raises several open research problems and opportunities in the area of renewable energy forecasting for smart microgrids.
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