We knew how to make a silicon photocell over 50 years ago. Yes, they can convert energy. But they aren't economically sound, or you would be seeing them all over just as you suggest. They would be blanketing the countryside and we would never burn another ounce of fossil fuel. The government wouldn't have to do anything. If it were just a question of manufacturing, China would have the damn things blanketing THEIR countryside. But the fact is they're not viable, and in most cases they take more energy to manufacure than they produce in their lifetime. There are small private energy startups trying to beat the problems but they haven't yet and may not.
I'm exhausted. In ten years, remember this conversation. You will either say, "Boy, that Andy sure missed the boat" or, "Guess that damn guy was right". But you will probably be saying the second thing in Mandarin.