In 2003, "President" George W. Bush dedicated $1.2 billion to research on Hydrogen Fuel Cells and their application in the automobile industry.
If that money had been invested into purchasing solar panels, even at today's slightly higher costs, and the government had simply given them away (assuming industries would be willing to assume the slight capital costs of wiring, transforming, etc.) there would now be more than 247MW of free additional clean energy on the market. Thats enough to power somewhere between 160,000 and 200,000 houses according to one site.
That is assuming that the government had just given solar panels away. Without expecting anything in return on a $1.2 billion investment. This is rudimentarily equivalent to investing in hydrogen fuel cells for automobile use when institutions and corporations have both already found better, more efficient, and more economical (and less fantastic) alternatives to modernizing our transportation infrastructure.
But of course when the government gives things to businesses, they can get things in return. Useful things. Like the reinvestment in the American city. Or compromises on more transparent fiduciary practices. Or even a guarantee to wear yellow hats on Thursday. They'd be saving a fuck-ton of money.
non-academic and purely anecdotal sources: