Technically speaking, we never did. Wind power has been a sigificant source of energy for most of human history, with the first practical windmill desiged by Heron of Alexandria in the first century AD. Since then windmills have been ubiquitous in places like Holland and Denmark, where they were used from the early middle ages to drain low-lying land as well as to mill grain, and of course you still see many windmills today in rural farm areas. Whether these count as “factories” is another matter, but I think you could make an argument that we power more “factories” with wind power today than we ever have. Large commercial wind farms, such as those in southern California and many in Europe operated by the Vestas company and others, have begun to supply significant amounts of electricity to modern power grids, which is used by factories and everyone else. Wind power has never really gone out of style, it’s just changed over from one primary use to another, and I think the future will see greater reliance on wind power for large-scale generation needs.
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