This paper reviews long-term development of biofuels in Sweden and the Netherlands. In particular this paper explores the social dynamics of ‘niche protection’. The Swedish and Dutch cases are analyzed by means of the Strategic Niche Management (SNM) perspective extended with insights from political science. Our main argument is that the development of biofuels and the way this development is protected relies on a variety of actor strategies and (local and global) discourses. This case therefore suggests that policy making for biofuels is a complex and non-linear process that can only partly be managed by policy actors.