Photovoltaic (PV) cells are being installed in record numbers (PVs work fine without a battery), largely as a result of plummeting costs. We believe distributed solar generation will soon be the most cost effective means of electrical generation in many locations around the world. The main reason for this expectation is that non-trivial amounts of energy are lost during long distance transmission. Approximately 38% of your electricity cost pays for transmission infrastructure and losses during transmission. Moving power from your roof to your refrigerator is significantly more efficient than pulling it in from the power plant 150 miles away. So while there is a significant up-front capital investment to implement PVs, they pay for themselves over time.
After the early kinks are worked out, the token launch model will provide a technically feasible way for tech companies (and open source projects in general) to spread the wealth and align their userbase behind their success. This is a better-than-free business model, where users make money for being early adopters. Kik is the first example of this, but expect to see more.