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Voltage control, grid reconfiguration and adaptive protection are considered in this paper since they are representative of the various control applications in the context of smart grids which can make significant use of the information and communication technology. All the three control applications have multiple objectives of which some are conflicting and these call for the use of multi-objective optimization in implementing the controls. The presence of non convex objectives and constraints calls for the use of evolutionary algorithms in solving the control problems. This paper enlists the generally dealt objectives and constraints for the three control applications. The presence of distributed generators in smart grids brings in factors that need additional consideration in solving the multi-objective optimization. The paper proposes that genetic algorithm is likely to be a good optimization technique in achieving the control objectives, the reasons for which are qualitatively described in this paper along with the challenges in using genetic algorithm.