Crowdfunding Web sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo have proven incredibly effective in uncovering financial backers for new technologies or businesses that might not otherwise gotten off the ground.
The model could also rewrite the rules for funding clean energy projects, particularly rooftop solar installations.
Exhibit A: one pioneer of this concept, Solar Mosaic, raised more than $313,000 this week for four projects that will be installed on affordable housing. In fact, the site raised that money in less than 24 hours.
More than 400 investors put in anywhere from $25 to $30,000 to help get these installations off the ground, with the average investment around $700, the company said.