U.S. consumers haven't been adopting solar as quickly as some might have hoped, and that's largely due to the "soft costs" associated with it, from installation to permitting. While solar panels themselves have seen a decline in price, the soft costs still remain a barrier for most customers.

The DOE announced $21.4 million in funding to reduce the soft costs through nine specific projects.

“Soft costs have been a pervasive barrier to widespread solar energy in the United States,” said Dr. Charlie Gay, Director of the Solar Energy Technologies Office. “Finding new ways to cut these costs remains critical in accelerating solar deployment nationwide and making solar affordable for all Americans.”

The collection of 9 projects will fall under the Solar Energy Evolution and Diffusion Studies (SEEDS) program, and is the second round of funding under this program.

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