There have been various theories about if the recession (or non-recession) will affect spending throughout the globe on infrastructure and energy projects. Some say it has to be affected because there is less money to go around (credit crunch, etc). That just seems like a weak, generalizing theory to me.
The reason I like infrastructure, and energy expansion is it is purely a necessity. This isn't corporations updating their software, or whether people will buy second homes. Those things are affected by less available money. We're talking about real people who need things like electricity, and fuel to power their homes and vehicles. There is no getting around spending money on these types of projects.
I've been a strong proponent of Swiss company ABB (ABB), given these themes. In a quote from their interim CEO, we hear:
"Asked whether ABB would grow faster than a roughly 3 percent forecast for the global economy for next year, Demare said: 'It is quite obvious that ABB will exceed that several times in 2009."
I like ABB because of its reach into various electrical systems sectors, including wind and solar. They get a lot of their revenue from Asia, among other places, and these are the countries that are taking the lead here. The US government is too busy debating whether or not to drill offshore, or about anything but the right issues, to enter this trend. So you'll want to be in a company that isn't relying on the US to lead this trend, but could still capitalize once the US catches on in a few years.
Full text of the article, via Forbes.
Disclosure: Long ABB.