Cuban President Fidel Castro has announced the renovation of the island's electricity system, an effort to put an end to energy blackouts that have plagued Cubans for the past two years.

In a speech Tuesday, Mr. Castro said the nation's massive energy plants will be replaced by smaller, regional ones and backed up by generators.

Cuba's energy problem reached crisis point in 2004 when a key electrical plant broke down. Since then, Cubans have suffered sporadic blackouts, often during the hottest months when demand for air conditioning is high. The blackouts and power surges damage some appliances, leaving food to rot in the summer heat.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.